South Korean prosecutors on Monday recommended 3 years in prison for the former Korean Air executive charged with endangering flight safety after a tantrum over how she was served macadamia nuts.
“recommendation”…..“recommendation”? You realize that if she spends a year in prison, that’ll be a miracle.
“Last week, cabin crew told the court they were pressured by Korean Air executives to cover up the incident and to lie to investigators.”
In case you were wondering just how ‘far’ these ‘unfettered powers’ reached, let me give you a little story.
I know someone who used to be a flight attendant. Keep in mind that Cho was Korean Air’s head of cabin service, and thus my friend’s ultimate boss. The concern about not ‘upsetting those in power’ is so bad that they put the prettier girls farther back in the classroom when Cho came to speak with them so that she wouldn’t feel ‘threatened’ by a younger, better looking woman.
The story does feel to be calming down but what will finalize it is what the actual sentence will be. I can almost imagine the others in the Chaebol being annoyed that they are now under scrutiny because of this. Pretty sure a lot more sons & daughters of the powerful will be a little more careful of their actions after this.
However, her shows of contrition have not been enough to appease public anger at the episode, which struck a nerve in a country that harbors deep unease at the domination of major industries by a handful of family-run business groups, known as chaebol. This has made many South Koreans particularly sensitive to what they see as arrogant or overbearing behavior by members of those families, and particularly young heirs like Ms. Cho.
It is nice to see this happening but so much is going on in the background to make it ‘less bad’. I am quite happy to see such issues bring brought to light and being dealt with. Korea is a country that has ‘a lot of growing up to do’ in order to really be part of the world where equality exists at all levels of society. Or at least an attempt to do so. The ‘old boys club’ runs nice and strong here.
A recent Korean Air flight was delayed when its chairman’s daughter, who was also vice president responsible for cabin service at the airline, ordered a senior crew member off the plane. His crime? Allowing her and other passengers in the pointy end of the aircraft to be served bagged macadamia nuts instead of nuts on a plate.
Hurray for spoiled brats!
For those that may be interested in the business side of things. This article does a good job at describing the current state of affairs.
From the Vancouver Sun: South Korea’s chaebol face reforms.
New president moves slowly to rein in powerful industrial conglomerates that dominate the economy
Most recently, the chaebol have become bloated oligarchies as South Korea has shifted from being a highly equitable society in the 1990s to developing a wealth gap approaching the level where it may threaten social cohesion.