Friday, September 15, 2006

Korean Business Prepares for Long Korean Holiday

In a couple weeks Korean business will shutdown for Chusok, the traditional Fall Lunar holiday. (I’ll give details on the holiday’s significance and appropriate Korean greetings in a future update).

In the meantime…since the holiday is based on the Asian Lunar calendar Chusok falls on different day each year. This year Asia will celebrate the holiday officially Oct. 4-7. In Korea, a second holiday, National Foundation Day, will be celebrated on Tuesday Oct. 3.

For many Koreans, an extended vacation will stretch up to nine days starting Sept. 30—workers taking Monday and Wednesday off also.

Among large companies, Samsung Electronics, the country’s largest electronics maker, said that the company would take five days off during the long Chusok holiday.

LG Electronics, Korea’s second-largest electronics company, is doing the same as its competitor.

According the Korean media, Hyundai Motor said it has not yet decided on Chusok vacation time for its staff.
One reason cited was the 2006 dispute between labor and management. HMC lost production of more than 90,000 automobiles worth about $1.3 billion. Fears have surfaced over HMC hitting its 2006 sales target.
Kia Motors also said that an extended Chusok was a concern citing low sales numbers.

Cultural Point One
Regardless of the duration of the Chusok holiday, Korean overseas teams will be working when their Korean colleagues and family have a vacation. It’s the price they pay for overseas assignments.

Cultural Point Two
Senior Korean management will probably show up to work part of the vacation, even if they give their teams a break. It’s the price they pay as an Executive (Director and above).

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