Samsung workers begin three-day general strike over pay

Published July 9, 2024
Hwaseong: Members of the National Samsung Electronics Union stage a rally as they begin a three-day general strike outside the company’s foundry and semiconductor factory, on Monday.—AFP
Hwaseong: Members of the National Samsung Electronics Union stage a rally as they begin a three-day general strike outside the company’s foundry and semiconductor factory, on Monday.—AFP

HWASEONG: Workers at South Korean tech giant Samsung began a three-day general strike over pay and benefits on Monday, the head of a union representing tens of thousands of employees said, warning the action could impact memory chip production.

Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest memory chip maker and accounts for a significant chunk of global output of the high-end chips.

Wearing rain jackets and ribbons saying “fight with solidarity”, thousands of workers gathered outside the company’s foundry and semiconductor factory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, an hour south of Seoul.

Samsung management has been locked in negotiations with the union since January, with the two sides failing to narrow differences on benefits and a rejected 5.1 per cent pay raise offer from the firm. “The strike has started from today,” Son Woo-mok, head of the National Samsung Electronics Union, said. “Today’s general strike is just the beginning,” he added.

“Recalling why we are here, please do not come to work until July 10th and do not receive any business calls,” he told the crowd of workers. The union said about 5,200 people from factory facility, manufacturing and development had joined the protest.

“Do they still not think this will affect their production line?” said Lee Hyun-kuk, vice president of the union.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2024

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