Labor unions at Samsung Electronics are threatening to go on strike after government wage arbitration failed

2022-04-18 0 By

Labor unions at South Korea’s Samsung Electronics have threatened to strike for the first time in the company’s 53-year history if their demands for higher wages and better working conditions are not met.Earlier this week, South Korea’s National Labour Relations Board decided to stop mediating wage negotiations between Management and union members at Samsung Electronics, raising the prospect of a strike at the country’s largest conglomerate for the first time since it was founded in 1969.South Korea’s National Labor Relations Board conducted two arbitrations in less than a week, but failed to reach an agreement.Union representatives held a rally near Samsung’s headquarters in central Seoul on Wednesday after the government’s arbitration failed.They are calling for a narrowing of the wage gap between workers and for more paid holidays and better health benefits.Union protesters say they will try to salvage wage negotiations with management and that a strike would be their last resort.The largest of Samsung’s four unions is said to have nearly 4,500 members, or about 4% of the company’s 114,000 employees.Samsung’s four union groups have formed a collective bargaining group and have been negotiating with management since October.They demanded an annual salary increase of 10 million won ($8,354) per employee and full disclosure of its incentive system.”We will continue to fight to ensure wage negotiations and collective bargaining not only with Samsung Electronics but also with all unions affiliated with Samsung,” said Kim Hang-yeol, one of the heads of the union representing Samsung Electronics.The potential impact on Samsung’s operations is unclear.Lee Hyun-kuk, another union official, said: “We don’t want a strike on the chip line.If I say we are going to stop the chip production line, we will become enemies of the people.Samsung Electronics said in a statement: “The company will continue its dialogue with the union and make every sincere effort to reach an agreement.”