Samsung Heavy Industries Co. has become the first among the country’s big three shipbuilders that settled this year’s collective bargaining and wage negotiations. In particular, the company concluded the agreements for three years at one go, including wage negotiations for 2016 and 2017.
According to shipbuilding industry sources on Sept. 20, Samsung Heavy’s labor and management concluded the collective bargaining and wage negotiations for 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Workers’ Council, which serves as a labor union for Samsung Heavy, passed the tentative agreement with 66.1 percent of members voting in favor on the same day.
The tentative agreement includes a basic salary freeze, 3.3 percent of an annual pay raise (1.1 percent a year) and 6 million won (US$5,367) of incentives to overcome a crisis and lump sum payments for the wage settlement and 300,000 won (US$268) worth of local gift certificates. In addition, the labor and management have agreed to stabilize the employment.
Samsung Heavy said, “The labor and management decided to take the shipbuilding industry’s difficult business environment seriously and agreed to stop wasteful conflicts and overcome the crisis in harmony. Accordingly, we have finally reached the wage settlements.” Samsung Heavy is the only firm that concluded the collective bargaining and wage negotiations before Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving Day, among the nation’s top three shipbuilders.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. failed to reach an agreement before summer holidays and negotiations have been still standoff until now, right before the Chuseok holidays. The company’s labor and management have difficulties in reaching an agreement because they are negotiating over not only wages but also voluntary retirements of idle workers in the marine business division.
For Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., the management asked workers to return 10 percent of their wages and receive their bonuses in installments earlier but backed off to a freeze in basic pay. However, it still cannot close the differences with the labor which wants a 4.11 percent hike in basic pay.