SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean prosecutors searched offices at a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) unit on Friday as part of a probe into allegations that the conglomerate sabotaged worker efforts to set up stronger labor unions, Yonhap News Agency said.

A Samsung Electronics office is seen in Suwon, south of Seoul, South Korea April 6, 2018. Yonhap via REUTERS

The tech giant has often come under fire from politicians and civics groups for not engaging with organized labor and existing Samsung unions tend to be small and weak.

A car drives past a Samsung Electronics office in Suwon, south of Seoul, South Korea April 6, 2018. Yonhap via REUTERS

A prosecution official declined to comment on whether a raid had taken place, citing the ongoing investigation.

While conducting a separate probe into allegations that Samsung bribed the country’s former president, investigators found thousands of documents suggesting the conglomerate had developed union busting strategies, domestic media outlets reported.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the company was aware that prosecutors had secured labor-related documents. She declined to comment further on the probe and had no immediate comment on whether a raid had taken place at the unit which carries out repairs for Samsung Electronics products.

Prosecutors investigated similar accusations after a lawmaker disclosed a document in 2013 that she claimed contained Samsung’s guidelines on how to stop its employees from organizing unions and break them up.

However, the case was later dropped as prosecutors could not verify the source of the document.

Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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