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Union rages at Korean Air’s ‘nut rage’ heiress

Dec 26,2019
Korean Air’s labor union objects to attempts by Cho Hyun-ah, the airline’s former vice president, to regain influence at the company.

Cho should “realize that causing management conflict to secure her own benefits will only raise public rage,” the union said in a statement Tuesday.

Cho, the eldest of the three siblings, gained international notoriety in 2014 for forcing a plane back to a gate at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport when she wasn’t served macadamia nuts on a plate.

On Monday, she accused Cho Won-tae, her younger brother, of ignoring their late father’s dying wish that the chaebol be run by the family harmoniously.

“Former Korean Air Vice President Cho hyun-ah is the very person who pulled down [the reputation] of Korean Air from the 2014 ‘nut rage’ incident,” read the statement. “Instead of expressing her ambition to return to the management that is unsettling some 20,000 Korean Air employees, we strongly recommend she first have time for self-restraint and self-reflection [that is long enough] to be approved by the public.”

The labor union added it will fight the return of Cho if she attempts to threaten the jobs of employees using her Hanjin KAL shareholding.

She holds 6.43 percent of Hanjin KAL’s stock, a little less than her younger brother’s 6.46 percent.

The Korea Corporate Governance Improvement fund last week purchased additional shares in Hanjin KAL. It now holds 17.29 percent.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]