CEO Of Bakery Franchise Paris Baguette Apologizes Amid Outrage Over Factory Worker’s Death

The restaurant conglomerate has been hit with backlash and boycott.

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Huh Young In, CEO of SPC, the parent company of the global bakery franchise, Paris Baguette, apologized in a press conference amid backlash and boycott over the death of the bakery’s factory worker.

Huh Young In | Kookmin Ilbo

Huh Young In met with the press on October 21, six days after the death of their 23 years-old employees, where he took full responsibility for the tragedy and apologized to the factory workers who were told to get back to work after pulling the victim’s body out from the machines.

I take full responsibility for this accident and deserve criticism from the public. I would like to apologize to the factory workers who worked near the victim. The company should have understood their trauma and sadness and should have been more considerate.

— Huh Young In

Koreans were outraged when they learned that a 23-year-old woman who worked at an SPC factory was killed when she was caught in a machine meant for making sauces. According to reports, her body was found the next day by her co-workers inside the machine, who then pulled her out.

SPC was hit with backlash and boycott when it was further reported that after her body was pulled out, factory workers were instructed to get back to work.

Heo Young In’s full apology is below.

First, I would like to send my apologies and condolences to the deceased and their family. I would also like to apologize to the national public for causing pain and unrest.

The company is cooperating with all investigations and will work on finding the cause of the tragedy and how to prevent it from happening again.

We will do our best to support the family affected and their sadness and help their recovery. The company executives and I will take full responsibility for this tragedy and are deserving of criticism from the public.

Especially the day after the accident, work continued in the vicinity of the accident. This was wrong. This is unexplainable and inexcusable.

All of this is due to my shortcomings and the result of my failure to instill in workers what is most important. The company should have understood their trauma and sadness and should have been more considerate. I am sad that we weren’t able to do so.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to the workers who are having a hard time.

To prevent an accident like this from occurring again, we will check the entirety of our company’s safety systems and bolster the security of our plants. We will hire a third party to diagnose safety threats throughout the company’s factories. Also, we will be making a safety task force consisting of members of HR and factory workers who will serve as safety directors to further bolster the safety of our plants.

Lastly, we will always put our employees first and create a workplace that is safe for our employees.

I would like to apologize again for causing pain and unrest. Through unrelenting work, we will bolster safety, and create a company culture that puts respect for our employees first.

— Huh Young In

SPC is a restaurant conglomerate home to national franchises such as Paris Baguette and also home to international franchises including Baskin Robbins, Jamba Juice, and Shake Shack.

Source: Kookmin ilbo and Yonhap News