Samsung Workers Strike to Push for Wage Increase

Tue Jul 09 2024
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SEOUL: Samsung Electronics workers launched a three-day strike, demanding better pay, local media reported. The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), representing about 30,000 members—nearly a quarter of Samsung’s South Korean workforce—has also called for an extra day of annual leave for workers and changes to the employee bonus system.

Despite low participation and automated production, which analysts believe will minimize the strike’s impact on output at the world’s largest memory chipmaker, the strike highlights declining staff morale at a critical time for the chip industry as tech firms adopt artificial intelligence.

Last month, the union’s first industrial action involved coordinating annual leave for a mass walkout, which Samsung reported had no impact on business activity. The firm also stated on Monday that there was no disruption in production.

The union, which did not disclose participation levels for last month’s strike, announced that 6,540 workers, mainly from manufacturing sites and product development, will stage protest. This includes workers who monitor automated production lines and equipment, potentially affecting operations. About 3,000 protestors attended a rally near Samsung’s headquarters in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, despite the rain.

Union president Son Woo-mok rejected media reports of low participation, explaining to Reuters that the five-year-old union has not had enough time to educate members about the issues. “Education about labor unions has not been enough. But I do not think this participation is low because our union is still young compared to other unions,” he said.

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