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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
April 24, 2024

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Samsung Display may face another labor strike over wage deadlock

  • PUBLISHED :February 18, 2024 - 09:56
  • UPDATED :February 18, 2024 - 09:56
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Samsung Display's manufacturing plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province (Samsung Display)

Samsung Display is on the verge of facing its second-ever labor strike, as unionized workers and the company failed to reach an agreement in wage talks and collective negotiation.

The unionists held a fifth round of talks over wages and collective bargaining agreements on Thursday with the display maker's management, but the company showed “no willingness” for a negotiation, the union chief told The Korea Herald on Friday.

“From the first round of negotiations that began in early January to the latest one, there was nothing that the company brought to the table in the negotiation process,” union leader Yoo Ha-ram said. “The company’s dismissive attitude (towards us) also broke the trust between us.”

The Samsung Display union had presented the company with 25 demands, including the expanded payment of employees’ holiday bonuses and a reformation of criteria for the overall performance incentive system. It also separately requested for a 5 percent base wage increase.

Yoo also said that the union decided to apply for a labor dispute mediation through the National Labor Relations Commission, as it declared a rupture in negotiations with the company, seeking ways for “coexistence and cooperation.”

He hinted that the union may file for a labor dispute mediation as early as next Tuesday.

Once submitting the mediation application, the union and the company will form a committee and attempt mediation for 10 days. If labor and management do not narrow their differences despite mediation, the union secures the right to strike legally through a member vote.

In 2021, the display maker had its first strike since its establishment in 2012 after wage talks collapsed. The union initially demanded a 6.8 percent wage hike but the company said it was impossible to raise wages by more than 4.5 percent, the standard increase rate determined by the labor-management council through a vote by union members.

A Samsung Display official, however, kept mum about the union's possible strike over the wage deal.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)

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