Monday, December 21, 2009

Cort Guitar Factory Workers Protest Layoffs At Frankfurt Musikmesse

Big business rears its ugly head yet again -- this time in South Korea's largest guitar manufacturer, Cort.

My article 'Guitar Manufacture -- China As The New Korea' highlighted escalating costs that were driving guitar manufacturers to mainland China.  This video, it seems, portrays a far bleaker picture.

According to Cort factory workers, the layoffs in Cort Korea came about as a result of the company's fraudulent bankruptcy closure by its chairman Park Young Ho. As the workers tell it, the company has been profitable since 1996 and that the bankruptcy closure was merely part of a plan to lay off more than a third of its workforce without retrenchment benefits or other compensation.  The bulk of Cort's manufacturing has been moved to Indonesia and China.

With their protests in Korea going unheeded, Cort workers gathered at the last Frankfurt Musikmesse tradeshow to further their cause, making known to the international community their plight of having to put in extraordinarily long work hours under threat of losing their jobs, the suppression of union activities by chairman Park, and the more serious allegations of threats and physical abuse at the workplace.

Their protest it seems fell on deaf ears.   

It makes me glad that I don't own a Cort guitar.


  1. Yes, I was there. I saw the workers protesting... and inside the musikmesse the Cort stand was open selling guitars.

  2. Hi Laurie, it is unfortunate but there is almost always a hidden story behind nearly every Asian conglomerate.



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