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The First Strike At Samsung Electronics Is Threatened For Next Week

The First Strike At Samsung Electronics Is Threatened For Next Week
Next week, a South Korean Samsung Electronics union will stage its first-ever walkout in protest over pay demands, according to union leaders, who made the announcement on Wednesday.
As part of larger protest actions, the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), which has around 28,000 members—more than a fifth of the company's workforce—announced that it will suspend operations for one day on June 7.
At a news conference that was broadcast live, union representatives made the statement while waving a banner that said, "We can no longer tolerate labour repression, union repression."
The first-ever strike by South Korean employees at the top memory chip manufacturer in the world would occur if union members decide to take the day off in unison next week.
In recent weeks, employees have staged sporadic protests outside the company's headquarters in Seoul, the nation's capital, and its chip manufacturing facility in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.
In response to the company's plan to raise pay by 5.1% this year, the union had earlier stated that it desired transparent performance-based incentives in addition to an extra day of yearly leave.
The tech company was accused by the union on Wednesday of neglecting to provide a compromise plan during the day's talks.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Samsung Electronics declared, "We will sincerely engage in discussions with the union."
Union representatives justified the choice to launch strike action when Samsung's company is experiencing underperformance in some areas.
Son Woo-mok, the president of NSEU, told reporters, "The company has been saying they are facing crisis all along for the past 10 years," but he also cautioned against the company using this as an excuse to avoid meeting requests.
The union said that its June 7 strike will have an impact on every firm location in South Korea. The largest of the five labour unions at the IT behemoth in South Korea is called NSEU. It's unclear if other, smaller unions want to follow suit.
In response to the planned walkout on Wednesday, a group of five unions at Samsung affiliates—including one at Samsung Electronics—questioned the rationale behind the proposal and declared they would not support it.
In a statement, the group argued that rather than attempting to better the working conditions of IT employees, it seemed to be a part of efforts to join a confrontational umbrella union.
The news of the strike comes at a time when Samsung, one of the largest chip and smartphone manufacturers globally, seems to be struggling in a few areas, including the development of cutting-edge semiconductor devices.
Samsung said that a new leader was required to steer the company through what it called a "crisis" that was impacting the chips sector, so it removed the head of its semiconductor division last week.
At a rare demonstration last week in Seoul, around 2,000 unionised employees of the massive South Korean technology company came to demand higher pay.
Following Samsung Electronics' 2020 vow to discontinue its practices of impeding the rise of organised labour, union membership has rapidly expanded.
According to analysts, the increase in union membership is a reflection of employees' dissatisfaction with Samsung's recent decline in competitiveness in industries like high bandwidth memory (HBM) semiconductors and legal problems the tech giant is experiencing.
In one instance, the business is fighting an appeal filed by the prosecution of a ruling that absolved Jay Y. Lee, the chairman of Samsung Electronics, of fraud and other offences arising from a 2015 merger of Samsung businesses.
Samsung Electronics' stock had a 3.1% decline at the closing on Wednesday, while the benchmark KOSPI saw a 1.7% decline.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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