Disgruntled workers of the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) staged a four-hour strike on December 12 asking for a pay increase.
The workers want a 3.81 percent hike in base salary, according to local media, which reported that only 5 percent of the 5,700 unionized workers joined the protest.
The demand is contrary to DSME’s strategy moving forward, which envisages wage freezes and return of 10 pct of wages this year.
The move is part of the shipbuilder’s efforts to cut cost as it scrambles to boost financial liquidity.
The company has managed to reduce its debt through a major restructuring drive, which included considerable workforce cuts as well.
There is no reason for optimism based on the expectations for 2018 either, as DMSE is likely to see a 31 percent drop in sales to KRW 7.86 trillion from KRW 11.37 trillion this year, according to the finance research firm FnGuide.
Separately, DSME has dodged a major fine that could have reached up to USD 24.4 million.
Namely, the Korean Supreme Court ruled on Monday in favor of DSME in a dispute with the Fair Trade Commission, dating back to 2013, which claimed that the shipbuilder underpaid subcontractors.
The ruling paved the way for the shipbuilder to get back about KRW 30 billion (USD 2.7 million) in fines and interest, Yonhap news agency reported.
World Maritime News Staff