Samsung Workers Strike for Better Pay, Bonuses

Samsung Workers Strike for Better Pay, Bonuses
Samsung Workers Strike for Better Pay, Bonuses

Samsung Electronics workers began a strike for better pay, with their union pointing to further action should South Korea's biggest conglomerate continue to fall short of its demands.

The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), whose roughly 30,000 members make up almost a quarter of the firm's South Korean workforce, also wants an extra day of annual leave for unionized workers and changes to the employee bonus system.

Low participation and automated production means the strike is unlikely to have a significant impact on output at the world's biggest memory chipmaker, analysts said. Still, it signals a decline in staff morale at a pivotal point in the chip industry as tech firms embrace artificial intelligence.

The union's first industrial action last month involved coordinating annual leave to stage a mass walkout, which Samsung said had no impact on business activity. The firm said there was no disruption in production.

The union, which did not disclose last month's strike participation levels, said 6,540 workers will be striking this week, mostly at manufacturing sites and in product development. It said the strike includes workers who monitor automated production lines and equipment so operations could be affected.

Union officials said about 3,000 strikers attended a rally in the rain near Samsung's headquarters in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.

Union president Son Woo-mok disputed media reports of low participation, and said that the five-year-old union did not have enough time to educate members about the issues.

Union officials also want equality in the bonus system. They said bonuses for rank-and-file workers are calculated by deducting the cost of capital from operating profit, whereas those for executives are based on personal performance goals.

The union's membership has grown since Samsung pledged in 2020 to stop discouraging organized labor.