Unionised workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. (HHI) group’s shipyards have declared coordinated strikes in yet another blow to South Korea’s economy.
Workers at HHI – comprising HHI, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) – announced four- and seven-hour strikes scheduled for 6 and 7 December, followed by indefinite industrial action on 13 December.
The announcement came after unions rejected the management’s offer in the collective bargaining of 25 November, proposing an increase of monthly wages by KRW80,000 ($61) and a KRW3 million ($2,298) bonus.
The workers are fighting for an increase of KWR142,300 ($109) per month instead, a guarantee of 250 per cent of wages in bonuses, and job security – in light of the shipbuilding industry’s restructuring.
“The management is not improving the distorted wage structure, sticking to the strategy of strengthening employment elasticity through the expansion of foreign worker recruitment,” a labour union official said.
“This year’s wage and collective bargaining also are meaningful in normalising poor wage levels throughout the shipbuilding industry.”
Should strikes go ahead, this will be the first time that the three yards have coordinated industrial action in a company-wide strike.
On 30 November, a second round of collective bargaining failed to provide a deal to secure minimum pay.