Unions of Korean Top Three Shipbuilders to Strike against Salary Freeze

The labour unions of South Korea’s top three shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) plan to launch a joint industrial action against their salary freeze.

The management of STX Heavy Industries also imposed the freeze, but the shipbuilder’s unions have not yet decided whether to participate in the strike.

The freeze was imposed after the trio posted major losses in their results for the second quarter of the year amid sluggish orderbook and a downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry.

The workers are planning to hold a joint strike on September 9, Kim Hyeong-gyun, a union member of the Hyundai Heavy Industries, is quoted as saying by Korea Joongang Daily.

Kim did not disclose whether the strike would resume after September 9 and what further moves the unions might take.

However, the unions have been faced with fierce criticism for promising workers financial gifts to join the strike. The gift certificates in question are said to be aimed at substituting the workers’ hourly pay at work, the Korea Herald writes.

The move comes following the announcement of the HHI’s union on staging of a three-hour strike on Wednesday this week, and a seven-hour strike of the high-ranking officials of the union starting Friday.

HHI’s workers are demanding up to KRW 127,560 (USD 107.44) increase in their monthly base pay and establishment of an ordinary wage system.

Management of all the three shipyards failed to reach an agreement with their unions on salary negotiations this year.

World Maritime News Staff



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