Samsung Pay Strike Now Indefinite, Union Leader Announces

Members of the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) in South Korea initiated a walkout on Monday in protest of pay and working conditions.

However, tensions over the perceived impact of the strike and a lack of new negotiations have spurred the union to escalate its stance. The union disputed claims by Samsung, the world’s largest producer of memory chips, that the strike had not yet disrupted production lines.

NSEU represents 30,000 members at Samsung’s South Korean operations, with 6,500 members participating in the strike as of Wednesday.

Key demands from the union include a 3.5% increase in basic pay and an additional day of holiday entitlement.

While both parties appear close to a resolution on paper, negotiations have stalled amid the ongoing strike.

Union vice-president Lee Hyun-kuk informed Reuters that Samsung had proposed a 3% increase in response to their demands. However, he noted that there had been no communication with management since the strike began on Monday.

The strike, originally set to conclude on Wednesday, will be extended, according to union vice-president Lee Hyun-kuk, who stated that some chip production had been affected. He urged more members to join the strike and emphasized the union’s efforts to raise awareness about the issues at hand.

This labor action coincides with Samsung’s efforts to capitalize on the global surge in artificial intelligence (AI). Last week, the company forecasted a more than 15-fold increase in second-quarter operating profits, driven by higher semiconductor prices and the AI boom, which has bolstered shares across various AI-related firms.

In response to the strike, Samsung Electronics assured that production lines would not be disrupted. The company affirmed its commitment to engaging in sincere negotiations with the union.


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