Samsung Employees Begin 3-Day 'Fight With Solidarity' Strike for Fair Pay

Samsung workers launched a three-day strike on Monday over fair pay at a semiconductor factory in Hwaseong, South Korea
Samsung Workers Union Start 3- Day Strike Over Pay Dissatisfaction
Samsung Workers Union Start 3- Day Strike Over Pay Dissatisfaction

Thousands of Samsung workers reportedly gathered on Monday wearing black rain jackets carrying ribbons and posters saying "Fight with solidarity." According to a report by AFP, union workers stood outside the company's factory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, an hour away from South Korea's capital as they began a three-day general strike over pay.

South Korean tech giant, Samsung Electronics founded in 1938 as a trading company, today is the largest chip maker in the world. It contributes a significant proportion of global output of the high-end chips.

"Today's general strike is just the beginning," Son Woo-mok, head of the National Samsung Electronics Union, told AFP.

The union, which has more than 30,000 workers, have in the past set out demands including improvements to annual leave and transparent performance-based bonuses.

"Recalling why we are here, please do not come to work until July 10th and do not receive any business calls," he directed the crowd of workers.

The protest have a long history of workers dissatisfaction with the Samsung management. In January, the management tried to negotiate with the union by offering 5.1 per cent pay raise offer. The union rejected it and consequently both sides have failed to narrow differences on benefits.

As a result, a one-day walkout in June happened. It was the first collective action against a company which went decades without union. In fact, Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul, who passed away in 1987 was against unions and said would never allow one "until I have dirt over my eyes."

"Given that the union could carry out additional strikes in case the gridlock continues, it could pose a great risk to Samsung management amid its race for dominance in the competitive chips market," told Kim Dae-jon, a business professor at Sejong University.

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