“we can no longer tolerate the repression of workers”

“we can no longer tolerate the repression of workers”
“we can no longer tolerate the repression of workers”

The largest union within Samsung in South Korea is planning a social movement for what will be the first strike in the Korean giant’s history. At issue: stalled negotiations on salary increases.

The Samsung Digital City // Source: Frandroid

The Korean giant would undoubtedly have preferred to avoid such news a few weeks before the Olympic Games of which it is a premium partner. Samsung will face the very first strike in its long history. Indeed, an influential union, counting 28,000 company employees in its ranks, called for a social movement.

The strike is supposed to start next week, but a sit-ins is already planned for the night of Wednesday May 29 to Thursday May 30. “ We can no longer stand the persecution against unions. We are declaring a strike due to the attitude of management who does not care about the workers“, declared the Nationwide Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) in Seoul. As pointed out by Korea Herald it is the largest union within Samsung.

During the press conference, the workers held up a banner reading: “ We can no longer tolerate worker repression, union repression “.

Negotiations that are not moving forward

The heart of the problem comes from the impasse in negotiations between management and the union. The latter demands a salary increase of 6.5% associated with a bonus based on the company’s profits. The two parties did not reach an agreement and management instead set the average salary increase rate at 5.1% for this year.

Industrial sources cited by the Korea Herald evoke eightroundsunsuccessful negotiations. And the straw that broke the camel’s back came when the union requested the exclusion of two of the firm’s negotiators from the discussions, which management refused. Since then, no new meeting has been planned, discussions have come to a standstill.

The “crisis” at Samsung

Furthermore, the strikers deny any desire to take advantage of a difficult economic period to put pressure on Samsung. Indeed, a spokesperson states that “the company has always said that it is facing a crisis in the past ten years“. Thus specifying that the firm should not use this argument to refuse the NSEU’s requests.

In this regard, theKorea Heraldrecalls that “Samsung posted a 14.88 trillion won ($10.91 billion) deficit in its chip sector, due to the collapse of the semiconductor industry“. Moreover, the Korean giant recently replaced the boss of its semiconductor division to better deal with this famous “crisis“.

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