HHI Workers Walk Again

South Korean shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. saw its unionized workers stage a four-hour walkout from 1 p.m today, November 27th, for the first time in twenty years, Yonhap reports.

The industrial action was triggered by a failure to reach a pay raise deal with the company’s management.

Yonhap quoted company officials as saying that about 3,000 members, or 17 percent, of the 18,000-member union participated in the strike.

The unionised workers promised to step up their  industrial action after they staged their first walkout last week when they walked out from a scheduled one hour of extra work after their regular eight-hour shift, the AFP reported.

The workers are asking for 132,000 won pay raise, a 6.51 percent hike, and at least 250 percent of the base salary as performance-based benefits. HHI has responded to demands with an offer of 37,000 won (USD33.68) salary increase, company stocks equivalent to 100 percent of the base salary and 3 million won in a one-time incentive bonus, according to Yonhap.

Hyundai Heavy argued the demands were unrealistic seeing that the company posted a USD 1.7 billion operating loss for the first nine months of 2014, also stating that an all-out strike would set the company back an estimated USD 90 million in production losses.

As informed, the union will meet on Friday to discuss future action. Union talks with the company management have been underway since June.

World Maritime News Staff

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