Friday, July 12, 2024

‘Don’t get tired’: Samsung Electronics workers extend strike indefinitely, say chip production disrupted

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 in Hwaseong on July 8, 2024. Workers at South Korean tech giant Samsung began a three-day general strike over pay and benefits on July 8, the head of a union representing tens of thousands of employees told AFP, warning the action could impact key memory chip production. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

Jung Yeon-je | Afp | Getty Images

Workers at South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics will extend an unprecedented strike over pay and benefits “indefinitely,” its labor union said in a statement on Wednesday.

The union’s demands include a 3.5% increase in members’ base wage, improved transparency in pay, and compensation relating to the economic losses of members who participated in the strike.

The National Samsung Electronics Union, which has about 30,000 members, had begun a three-day general strike on Monday, after both parties could not agree on wage increase rate, vacation system and bonuses after several rounds of discussions, according to local media reports.

This is the first strike by the labor union in Samsung Electronics’ entire 55-year history, according to local media.

“Don’t get tired,” the NSEU statement read, according to a Google-translation.

“Absolutely prohibited from going to work until executive instructions are given,” the labor union urged its members.

Samsung, which told local media on Tuesday that chip production had not been disrupted in the first two days of the strike, said on Wednesday it will “ensure no disruptions occur in the production lines” with the extension of the strike.

 “The company remains committed to engaging in good faith negotiations with the union,” Samsung commented.

The NSEU, which extended the strike saying Samsung management was not keen on holding discussions, asserted the strike had disrupted chip production.

Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest maker of memory chips, commonly found in consumer devices such as smartphones and laptops.

Shares of Samsung Electronics are down 0.34% Wednesday morning.

Separately, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor and its labor union reached a tentative wage agreement on Monday, averting a strike planned for Wednesday and Thursday, local news agency Yonhap reported.

The agreement includes a 111,200-Korean won ($81) increase in monthly basic salary, as well as a bonus and company shares.

– CNBC’s Lim Hui Jie contributed to this report.

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