Samsung workers announce indefinitely strike

A union representing workers at South Korean technology giant Samsung Electronics has urged its roughly 30,000 members to initiate an indefinite strike as part of their campaign for better pay and benefits. The announcement was made on the final day of a three-day general strike organized by the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU).

The union stated that the decision came after management showed no intention of negotiating over their demands. The NSEU, which represents nearly a quarter of Samsung Electronics’ workers in South Korea, claimed its actions had disrupted production, a claim that Samsung disputes.

“Samsung Electronics will ensure no disruptions occur in the production lines. The company remains committed to engaging in good faith negotiations with the union,” the firm told the media. However, the union countered: “The company has no intention to engage in a dialogue even after the first general strike, thus we declare a second general strike starting from July 10th, lasting indefinitely.”

The NSEU reported that about 6,500 workers have participated in the strike so far and urged more members to join the industrial action. A Samsung Electronics spokesperson declined to comment on the number of workers involved in the walkout. Approximately 3,000 people attended a protest on Monday.

“In our view, there will be no production disruption,” Jung In Yun, from Fibonacci Asset Management Global, told the media. Last month, the union staged the first walkout at the company since its founding over five decades ago.

Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest maker of memory chips, smartphones, and televisions. It is the flagship unit of the South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group and the largest of the family-controlled businesses dominating Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Samsung Group was known for not allowing unions to represent its workers until 2020, following intense public scrutiny after its chairman was prosecuted for market manipulation and bribery.

After the NSEU announcement, the company’s shares traded flat to slightly lower on the Korea Stock Exchange. Last week, Samsung Electronics forecasted a 15-fold profit increase for the three months ending June 2024 compared to the same period last year, driven by a boom in artificial intelligence (AI) technology that has boosted prices of advanced chips.

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