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Emart workers demand bonuses for successful sales promotions

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Customers wait in line to pay for their purchases at an emart store in Yongsan, Seoul, Nov. 20. Yonhap
Customers wait in line to pay for their purchases at an emart store in Yongsan, Seoul, Nov. 20. Yonhap

By Kim Jae-heun

The emart workers' union is demanding Shinsegae Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin offer employees "reasonable" compensation for the success of the SSG Sale promotional event recently, according to company officials Tuesday. Shinsegae is the operator of emart, the country's largest retail store chain.

Shinsegae Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin
Shinsegae Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin
The major sales event took place between Nov. 18 and 20, in celebration of the SSG Landers' 2022 Korean Series win. Emart is the owner of the Korean professional baseball team.

According to Shinsegae, emart's sales during the three days exceeded 140 percent compared to its original prediction. The company failed to reveal the exact numbers, but it created 2.1 times more year-on-year revenue during SSG Sale period.

The union said employees at emart stores worked extremely hard and thus are eligible for compensation.

"We are happy for the baseball team's Korean Series win and the company's successful sales promotion that Chung treated customers to as a result. However, employees worked ceaselessly for busy hours displaying products on the shelf for the three days and we are waiting for Chung to treat us too," the union said in a statement.

The union also demanded management pay a 100,000 won ($73.75) bonus to all emart workers in celebration of SSG Landers' championship title claim on Nov. 17.

"Not only did SSG Landers win the Korea Baseball Organization's first wire-to-wire regular season title, but also the 2022 Korean Series. We have every right to request a reward and we want a 100,000 won bonus," the union said.

However, the company has rejected the union's demands.

"In difficult times of a sluggish economy, the company invested in the baseball team and made a good outcome of it. At this time, it is hard to pay a bonus to our workers so hastily," an emart official said.

Many emart stores were crowded with customers on the first day of the SSG Sale as news spread that the company was offering large discounts of as much as 50 percent on major products in commemoration of SSG Landers' victory.

The company's Yeonsu branch in Incheon had to close down temporarily on Nov. 18 due to overcrowding.

Kim Jae-heun

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