Fired Worker Stages Protests at Pfizer
TowerShim Dong-hee, right, leader of the Pfizer Animal Health “labor union,” holds a signboard saying “I will never bow down to unfair pressure” with a colleague in front of Pfizer Tower in Myeongdong, downtown Seoul, Friday afternoon. The multinational firm does not recognize the union.
/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Article By Kang Shin-who Staff Reporter
A usually busy footpath in front of the Pfizer Korea building in downtown Seoul turned into the scene of a small disturbance Friday. Only five people participated in this condemnation of the multinational pharmaceutical firm's labor practices. But banners and placards they used were big enough to catch the attention of passersby. This demonstration has been going on three times a week since August. Shim Dong-hee, 38, the fired head of a workers' organization at Pfizer Animal Health, demanded that he be reinstated and that the company recognize their right to organize as a union. "The company disbanded our union three times since the late 1990s," Shim told The Korea Times during Friday's protest. He was attempting to set up a union for the fourth time but was fired instead. Shim and his colleagues chanted a slogan calling for dialogue, with pickets saying "Pfizer Is No Good" and "Pfizer Cares More About Animal Rights Than Human Rights.""I will continue to fight and will not stop protesting until the vicious company comes to the negotiating table," he said. Pfizer's animal health department, which Shim used to work for, has 46 workers, making it eligible for union formation. Company officials were not available for comments despite repeated calls. Pfizer Korea, however, allows a union separately from the animal experimentation department. This union has 320 workers as members out of 700 firstname.lastname@example.org