Strikes: Largest Samsung union calls for indefinite strike

The largest union at the South Korean electronics giant Samsung accuses the company’s management of not being willing to negotiate. The ongoing strike is to be expanded.

The largest union at Samsung, the global market leader in memory chips and smartphones, in South Korea wants to continue its originally limited strike indefinitely. The National Union of Samsung Electronics (NSEU), which is demanding higher wages, wants to increase its pressure on management.

In a statement, it accused the company’s management of a lack of willingness to negotiate. The union is therefore calling on its members to go on an indefinite strike. “The company remains determined to negotiate with the union in good faith,” Samsung said in a statement.

The walkout is considered the first full-fledged strike in the company’s 55-year history. Thousands of NSEU members have been taking part in the strike action since Monday. The majority of them, or more than 5,000, are employed in semiconductor production, according to the association. The strike was initially planned for three days. The NSEU has around 30,000 employees, or almost 24 percent of the total workforce, among its members.

3.5 percent more wages

In its latest statement, the union is demanding a 3.5 percent increase in basic wages, improvements to the performance bonus system and compensation to members for their economic losses as a result of the strike. Instead of the current one day more holiday per year, it also wants to push through a one-day special holiday to mark the founding of the union.

Samsung did not initially comment on the demands. The company said it would ensure that there were no interruptions in the production lines. Both sides have been negotiating since January. For many years, Samsung had been accused of pursuing an anti-union policy. Four years ago, the company’s management promised to recognize the right of employees to form unions, negotiate collective agreements and assemble peacefully.

Source: Stern

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