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Chief of bakery giant SPC again ignores prosecution summons over anti-labor allegations

Hur Young-in, the chairman of bakery giant SPC Group, did not show up for prosecution questioning scheduled for Monday on allegations that he forced bakers at a bakery affiliate to quit their labor union.

The 74-year-old chairman is currently under investigation for his suspected involvement in an affiliate’s alleged coercion of bakers at Paris Baguette, a popular bakery chain operated by SPC, to withdraw their membership of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), a militant labor umbrella union, between 2019 and 2022.

Prosecutors suspect SPC Group was also involved in imposing personnel disadvantages on employees affiliated with the KCTU.

According to legal sources, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office had summoned Hur to appear for questioning Monday morning on charges of violating the trade union act, but the chairman did not show up for the session.

Hur’s side reportedly told the prosecution that he is currently hospitalized for health issues and is unable to appear for questioning.

The SPC chairman disobeyed prosecution summons for questioning three times last month in connection with the investigation. He eventually presented himself before prosecutors in late March, but the questioning session was cut short after an hour due to complaints of chest pains.

Prosecutors plan to summon Hur once again for questioning, and, if they determine any attempt by Hur’s side to delay the investigation, action may be taken to bring the chairman to questioning by force.

An official representing Hur said “Doctors say his condition needs absolute rest, but he will present himself before prosecutors to undergo questioning sincerely as far as possible.”

Last month, prosecutors indicted SPC Group’s CEO Hwang Jae-bok under physical detention on charges connected to the investigation.

Source: Yonhap News Agency