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Samsung Employees To Indefinitely Strike

As Samsung had a big launch to unveil its new foldables in Paris on Wednesday (read all about it on ChannelNews), there’s serious trouble brewing among its employees in its home country of South Korea.

Samsung Electronic’s largest labour union, the National Samsung Electronics Union, which comprises more than 30,000 workers has now called on its members to extend their three-day strike indefinitely.

Thousands of workers had protested earlier this week outside Samsung’s chipmaking complexes to begin what was originally scheduled as a three-day walkout starting Monday.

The protestors demanding better pay have now been asked to continue their walk-out in a move which is likely to hit production at the world’s largest memory chipmaker.

The union dug in its heels with a combative statement on its website. “Management has no intention of dialogue,” the union said. “We have clearly identified line production disruptions and the company will regret this decision,” it said.

It will reportedly first target a smaller 8-inch production facility that relies more on humans to carry out several tasks, before it targets high-bandwidth memory production in Pyeongtaek. “Management will eventually relent and come to the negotiating table.”

Samsung shot back in a statement of its own that it was determined to not let the latest protest affect its production. “Samsung will ensure no disruptions occur in production lines. We remain committed to engaging in good faith negotiations with the union.”

The NSEU is demanding that Samsung raise its union members’ basic pay by 3.5 per cent as well as make bonus payment rules more transparent.

“You should endure to the end. It’s now or never,” union head Son Woo-mok said in a video on the NSEU YouTube channel. “If we shrink, the management will say we are losers. We must increase [our numbers], never decrease them. All members who participated in the first strike [should] continue to strike.”

As Samsung attempts to ramp up its production of semiconductors, and convince Nvidia to use its high-bandwidth memory, a setback in its production will place it a further behind its smaller rival SK Hynix.

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