Samsung is facing its first ever labor strike

Samsung shakes off historic employee strike Workers, especially those in the key chip division, are walking off the job for the first time as part of a one-day strike. Negotiations for better pay and bonuses have reached an impasse, leading to this unprecedented action.

The Samsung Electronics Nationwide Union (NSEU), the largest union with 28,000 members, spearheaded the one-day strike. An incredible 75% of their members voted in favor of this action in April, highlighting the strong support of workers for the cause.

According to NSEU Vice President Lee Hyun Kuk, Samsung does not perceive the trade union as an important negotiating entity. He explained that employees aim to communicate their developed level of maturity to management.

Lee said union workers did not receive bonuses last year, despite previously receiving bonuses of up to 30% of their salaries. He also mentioned that the average union worker earned around 80 million won (~US$60,000) in 2023.

The timing of the strike couldn’t be more difficult for Samsung, given the increased competition in the chip industry due to the surge Artificial Intelligence. Despite this, a Samsung spokesperson assured the Times that the strike would not affect production plans. Additionally, the strike coincides with a national holiday, and it is common for many people in South Korea to take Friday off for a long weekend.

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