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Samsung electronics faces indefinite strike by workers seeking better pay and benefits

BNE News Desk , July 10, 2024
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Seoul: A significant labor dispute has erupted at Samsung Electronics, as the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) calls on its approximately 30,000 members to initiate an indefinite strike. The decision follows a three-day general strike and management’s apparent refusal to engage in discussions over the union’s demands for improved pay and benefits.

The NSEU, which represents nearly 25 percent of Samsung Electronics’ workforce in South Korea, declared the prolonged strike after accusing the company of neglecting to hold meaningful talks. According to the union, the ongoing industrial action has already disrupted production. However, Samsung disputes this claim, assuring that production lines remain unaffected.

Despite these assurances, the union remains steadfast. "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 stated. So far, about 6,500 workers have participated in the strike, and the union is urging more members to join the action.

In financial markets, Samsung Electronics’ shares were trading flat to slightly lower following the NSEU’s announcement. The timing of the strike is noteworthy, as Samsung recently projected a 15-fold increase in profits for Q2 2024 compared to the same period last year. This forecast is driven by the booming demand for advanced chips, fueled by advancements in artificial intelligence technology.

As the strike progresses, all eyes are on how this labor dispute will unfold and its potential impact on Samsung Electronics and the broader technology industry.