Hanjin Shipping Lays Off Over 500 Mariners
Hanjin Shipping has laid off 560 of its mariners in addition to the 400 shoreside staff dismissed in October.
Hanjin has also already announced plans to shutter its European shoreside presence. Overall, the Korea Herald reports that Hanjin is expected to shed about 2,000 jobs by the end of the year.
South Korea's Pulse News rpeorts that the remaining Hanjin seafarers on payroll may be dismissed by the end of the year; a Hanjin spokeswoman confirmed this report to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Korea's JoongAng Daily reports that the Korea Shipowners' Association has been working to find new positions at other companies for the affected mariners.
Separately, Hyundai Merchant Marine and smaller vessel operator Korea Line have submitted bids for Hanjin's trans-Pacific operations, including five ships, its shoreside logistics operations, a number of subsidiaries and its majority stake in the Total Terminals Long Beach container facility. The terminal is among Hanjin's most valuable assets.
Minority owner MSC may choose to dispute any third-party purchase of Hanjin's stake in the terminal; under the terms of its contract, MSC has right of first refusal for Hanjin's share.
In related news, Korean media report that Hanjin Group executives (among others) have been questioned by prosecutors about whether they may have been pressured to make illicit donations to non-profits connected to President Park Geun-hye and her closest advisor, Choi Soon-sil.
Hanjin Group chief Cho Yang-ho is one of seven chaebol leaders who allegedly met with Park in secret on the sidelines of a summit last year.
Choi has been arrested on suspicion of coercing donors into contributing nearly $70 million to two non-profit foundations under her control. Government ministers have denied rumors that state-controlled banks suspended aid to Hanjin as a punishment for insufficient donations to Choi's groups.