A sit-in and a hunger strike at its IBM Korea Inc subsidiary in Seoul have forced IBM to break the habits of a lifetime and agree in principle to recognise the union trying to organise the 700 of the unit’s 1,100 employees qualified for membership. According to the Washington Post, the agreement came after a rally at the company’s plant on Thursday at which 150 people chanted Yankee Go Home and This is Korean land – why are Americans ruling over it? The agreement in principle, which includes provision of office space for the union and the granting of 173 hours a month to union leaders for conducting union business, ended an 11-day hunger strike and a month-long sit-in at the subsidiary’s corporate headquarters. IBM is less likely to respond quickly to activists’ demands that it Koreanise the subsidiary, making it more independent of IBM World Trade, or increase transfers of technology to Korean firms.
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