Unionized workers of South Korea’s largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. went on a general strike on Thursday due to conflict in bargaining over next year’s wage and other labor terms, aggravating woes for the management struggling with lack of workload to sustain operation and redundant workforce after shutdown of idle docks.
Workers of the 12,000-strong union and temporary workers’ union have joined the strike starting Thursday and will keep up walkout until Tuesday next week. It is the shipyard’s first full-scale strike this year.
The strike is legitimate since the National Labor Relations Commission gave up arbitration due to the huge gap between the union and management. The union said it had made minimum demands in light of the difficulties, but the management nevertheless was unwilling to cooperate citing its hardship from closing down offshore facility dockyard due to a dearth of new orders.
The management warned it would take legal and administrative actions if unionists interfere with work by strike-nonconformists.
The labor union asked the management to increase 73,373 won ($6.5) in basic salary, half of its original demand, and come up with clear criteria for bonus payment. An official from the shipbuilder said it is unreasonable for the union to walk out at a time when there are 880 idle workers and one of its shipyards is about to shut down due to the lack of orders.
On Friday, shares of Hyundai Heavy Industries rose 1.57 percent to close at 96,900 won.
By Woo Je-yoon and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]