Union Demands Shake Samsung as Three-Day Strike Begins

By Thea Felicity

Jul 08, 2024 01:58 PM EDT

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)
While VCPost reported that the expected participation remains low and disruption is predicted, Reuters reported that workers at Samsung Electronics have now continued their three-day strike, demanding better pay and improved working conditions. 

The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), representing approximately 30,000 workers, has expressed its dissatisfaction with current conditions, calling for an additional day of annual leave and revisions to the company's bonus structure.

Previously, the union coordinated a mass walkout last month, focusing on annual leave arrangements, which Samsung claims did not affect operations.

This week's strike, involving approximately 6,540 workers primarily from the manufacturing and product development sectors, has seen about 3,000 participants rallying near Samsung's Hwaseong headquarters amid rainy conditions.

READ MORE: Samsung Workers to Begin Three-Day Strike Despite Low Expected Participation

Samsung Workers Union's Impact

However, while the three-day strike at Samsung Electronics is not expected to affect the company's production or output immediately, analysts from Reuters believe there could be a significant decrease in employee morale.

This decline in morale could have implications for employee productivity, cooperation, and overall workplace atmosphere, potentially impacting Samsung's long-term performance and internal dynamics beyond the immediate strike period.

Union leaders, including President Son Woo-mok and Vice President Lee Hyun-kuk, have voiced readiness for further industrial action should Samsung adequately address their demands.

They criticized Samsung's current pay and leave flexibility proposals, arguing they fall short of meeting worker expectations for fair treatment and parity in bonus allocations between executives and rank-and-file employees.

Currently, Samsung contends with competitive pressures in AI-focused chip development, which has worsened due to difficulties in advancing high-bandwidth memory chips. Union officials acknowledge that slower technological progress significantly impacts company performance and employee treatment.

READ NEXT: Samsung to Implement Six-Day Work Week for Executives Slammed by Critics 'Not Effective'

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