Korean Air Staff in Protest Against ‘Nut Rage’ Family

Hundreds of Korean Air workers wearing protested in the center of Seoul late on Friday, demanding the ouster of the airline’s chairman, Cho Yang-ho, over the behavior of two of his daughters who held senior posts at the company.

One of the sisters, Cho Hyun-ah, became notorious for a “nut rage” incident on one of the airline’s planes that saw her briefly jailed.

The other, Cho Hyun-min, ignited fresh outrage last month, when she was accused of throwing a drink over an advertising executive at a business meeting.

In a country where workers are often expected to show unquestioning loyalty, their cases have become a focus of public impatience with the family-run conglomerates known as chaebol that dominate South Korea’s economy, and over what some people see as unchecked bad behavior by the rich and powerful.

A possible sign of the family’s continued influence is that the protesters on Friday wore Guy Fawkes masks to hide their faces. They carried placards saying, “Cho Yang-ho Out” and “No mercy.”

In response to the public backlash, Mr. Cho made his daughters step down from their positions at the airline and offered a public apology for their behavior.

But airline pilots, flight attendants and staff members said they would continue to protest on the streets until the chairman also stepped down. They are also demanding greater transparency over the management of the company.

“We can’t put up with the Cho family’s abuses anymore. Cho family, leave the company!” Park Chang-jin, a flight attendant, told his co-workers at the candlelit vigil in downtown Seoul.

Mr. Park had been involved in the 2014 “nut rage” episode, when Cho Hyun-ah, who goes by the given name Heather, lost her temper over the way she was served nuts in first class on a Korean Air plane and demanded that it return to its gate at a New York airport.

Mr. Park was the chief steward on the plane at the time, and Ms. Cho had demanded he be removed from the aircraft. She was jailed on a charge of obstructing aviation safety, but returned to work as an executive of Korean Air’s hotel affiliate in March.

South Korean police said earlier on Friday that they were seeking an arrest warrant for Cho Hyun-min 34, the youngest daughter of the chairman, on suspicion of assault during her recent angry outburst.

She has denied any wrongdoing but made her first appearance for police questioning over the incident on May 1. Prosecutors have rejected a police request to arrest her, an official said.

Korean Air have declined to comment.