Samsung Electronics Union in South Korea Stages Walkout for Higher Salaries, Better Working Conditions

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jun 07, 2024 02:02 AM EDT

A Samsung Electronics union in South Korea protested over pay and working conditions on Friday when it staged its first-ever walkout. 

SKOREA-SAMSUNG-STRIKE
A vehicle with the NSEU (National Samsung Electronics Union) logo is seen parked as a Samsung flag flutters in the wind outside the company building in Seoul on June 7, 2024, as workers at the tech giant staged the first ever strike, the head of a major union representing tens of thousands of people told AFP.
(Photo : ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Samsung Electronics Union Holds First-Ever Walkout

According to Reuters, the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), which has about 28,000 members, ceased work for one day as part of a larger protest. 

NSEU official Lee Hyun-kuk told Reuters that the purpose of the strike was to have "meaningful conversation with management." Market research firm TrendForce said the walkout will not affect DRAM and NAND Flash memory chip production nor cause shipment shortages. 

The protest involved more staff at Samsung's Seoul headquarters than production workers. The strike's timing after a public holiday means many employees had already planned to take leave. 

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Demands of the Samsung Electronics Union

In recent weeks, workers have staged protests outside Samsung's offices in Seoul and the chip production site in Hwaseong.

The union's demands include an extra day of annual leave and transparent performance-based bonuses, in response to the company's decision to raise wages by 5.1% this year.

The NSEU, the largest of Samsung's five labor unions, announced that all company sites in South Korea would participate in the June 7 protest.

However, a coalition of other unions, including a smaller Samsung Electronics union, questioned the motives behind the strike and decided not to join. The tech giant has also previously stated it will engage in discussions with the union. 

READ MORE: Samsung Electronics Appoints New Chief for Semiconductor Business Amid Intense AI Chip Market Competition 

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