As earnings falls, the Samsung union threatens the first walkout in the company’s history

12. 05. 2023 | Kristýna Bezděková

An important Samsung Electronics employees union warned on Thursday that its members might strike over a salary dispute, potentially leading to the South Korean tech giant’s first strike in its history. According to the National Samsung Electronics Union, Samsung management has pulled the union out of pay discussions.

The NSEU, which claims to represent 10,000 employees, or around 9% of the workforce, held a news conference outside one of Samsung’s offices in Seoul and asked that the tech giant’s Chairman Lee Jae-yong attend the negotiations.

According to local media sources and the union’s website, Lee Hyun-kuk, a union spokesperson, stated the union will go on strike after consulting with its members, but that it depended on Samsung Chair Lee’s “attitude” and readiness to negotiate. “It depends on Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s attitude.” “We sincerely invite him to the table for talks,” said Lee of the NSEU, according to Bloomberg.

“The company has diligently followed all relevant and related procedures, and will continue to hold discussions with the union,” a Samsung representative stated. If the strike goes forward, it will be the first since Samsung Electronics was founded in 1969. Samsung Electronics is the umbrella term for Samsung’s consumer goods, semiconductor, display, and mobile carrier divisions.

Tensions with employees come at a critical juncture for the world’s largest smartphone and memory chip maker, as operating profit in the first quarter fell to its lowest level since 2009. Samsung has been harmed by dropping pricing and demand for its memory chips, which are its main source of earnings. The union is requesting a 6% salary rise for employees. According to the union, Samsung management said last month that it will raise pay by about 4%.


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Author of this article

Kristýna Bezděková

Kristýna is a student of marketing and communication in an undergraduate program. She writes and translates content into the Czech language


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