Home Asia Samsung Electronics’ Union Threatens First Ever Walkout Next Week

Samsung Electronics’ Union Threatens First Ever Walkout Next Week

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A member of the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) holds a placard that reads "Respect labour" in front of the Samsung Electronics Seocho Building in Seoul. REUTERS/Kim Soo-hyeon


A Samsung Electronics union in South Korea will stage the first ever walkout next week. This is for demands for higher wages.

The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) says it will stop work for one day on June 7 as part of broader protest measures. The union has about 28,000 members, or more than a fifth of the company’s total workforce.

Unnion officials made the announcement at a press conference. They held a banner which read. “We can no longer tolerate labour repression, union repression.”

The walkout, if it happens, will be the first ever walkout by South Korean workers at the world’s top memory chipmaker.

Workers have been intermittently participating in protests in recent weeks outside the company’s offices in the capital city Seoul as well as outside its chip production site in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.

The company has decided to increase wages this year by 5.1%. However, the union has said that it wants an additional day of annual leave as well as transparent performance-based bonuses. Negotiations are underway.

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Samsung Electronics said in a statement on Wednesday: “We will sincerely engage in discussions with the union.”

The strike announcement comes as Samsung, one of the world’s biggest chipmakers and smartphone makers, appears to be faltering in some areas, including cutting-edge semiconductor chips.

Union officials defended the decision to take industrial action at a time when some parts of Samsung’s business are underperforming.

Son Woo-mok, president of NSEU told reporters the company has been saying they are facing crisis all along for the past 10 years.

He added that the firm should not use it as an excuse not to meet its demands.

The union said all company sites across South Korea would be affected by its June 7 action.

With inputs from Reuters