Samsung Workers’ Union Begins Three-Day Strike in South Korea

Samsung Workers’ Union Begins Three-Day Strike in South Korea

The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) has initiated a three-day strike starting Monday, demanding improvements in the performance-based bonus system and an additional day of annual leave for workers. The union, representing around 28,000 members, constitutes over a fifth of Samsung Electronics’ workforce in South Korea.

While it remains uncertain how many workers will participate, a union poll indicated about 8,100 members were planning to join the strike as of Monday morning. Senior union leader Lee Hyun-kuk mentioned in a YouTube broadcast last week that further strikes could occur if their demands are not met following the initial three-day stoppage.

A rally is planned near Samsung’s headquarters in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, to kick off the strike. Analysts predict the strike will have minimal impact on chip output, as most production at the world’s largest memory chipmaker is automated. The union’s previous industrial action last month, which involved using annual leave, had no reported impact on production or business activity.

Despite the expected minimal impact on production, the strike indicates a decline in staff loyalty at Samsung, one of the world’s leading chipmakers and smartphone manufacturers. This labor unrest adds another challenge for Samsung as it faces intense competition in the semiconductor market, particularly in chips used for artificial intelligence applications.

On Friday, Samsung estimated a more than 15-fold rise in its second-quarter operating profit, driven by rebounding semiconductor prices due to the AI boom. However, its share price performance has been trailing behind South Korean chip rival SK Hynix.

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