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Korean Shipbuilders Divided in Dealing with Labor Disputes
Labor Pains
Korean Shipbuilders Divided in Dealing with Labor Disputes
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • September 11, 2015, 01:00
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Korean shipbuilders, each suffering from business losses of trillions of won these days, are drawing different pictures of progression or regression depending on the choices of their trade unions.

Recently, the management and the union of Samsung Heavy Industries barely reached an agreement just one step away from a strike, and Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering had a resolution meeting for the co-prosperity of the employers and employees. On the contrary, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering found themselves driven to the precipice, with their unions unwilling to give in.

The union of Samsung Heavy Industries, which did not participate in the joint strike of labor unions in the shipbuilding industry on Sept. 9 because the wage negotiations were still going on, succeeded in signing an agreement with management at the end of Sept. 10. The base pay of its workers is to be raised by 0.5 percent according to the agreement, and 3,626 out of 5,115 union members voted that day for the tentative agreement prepared on the previous day.

In the meantime, the management and the union of Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering also finished their negotiations on the same day and agreed to work more closely with each other, so that the business of the company can get back on track soon.