World-OKTA union leader Nam Jang-hyun poses after being unanimously elected to head the labor union. Photo courtesy of World-OKTA trade union

First trade union set up in 41 years

Employees of the World Federation of Overseas Korean Traders Associations (World-OKTA) organized their first labor union in the outfit’s 41-year history.

The World-OKTA announced on Sept. 1 that its unionists unanimously elected Nam Jang-hyun as the inaugural leader of the trade union. Nam got aboard the World-OKTA in 2012.

The union said that it would prevent its members from suffering from the abrupt stewardship change of the World-OKTA.

The Seoul-based entity reshuffles its chairman and other leaders every two years, thus causing confusion in the management system and operation, according to the union.

The union claimed that there was an unfair dismissal of late, which it said should not happen again.

“Out of 30 World-OKTA employees, only five have worked here for longer than five years. This shows how bad the working environment here is,” Nam said.

“We will put forth efforts to scrap problematic practices and improve treatment to workers so that all can enjoy the win-win situation.”

Founded in 1981, the World-OKTA is the largest organization of overseas Korean business leaders whose number has shot up over the past four decades.