GEOJE, South Korea, June 28 (Korea Bizwire) – A group of workers at Samsung Heavy Industries Co., a financially troubled South Korean shipbuilder, voted Tuesday to go on a strike in protest of the management’s restructuring plan.
Among a total of 5,396 members of the “labor council,” 4,768 participated in the ballot and 4,382, or 91.9 percent, voted for a strike, the group said. Formally, the company doesn’t allow a labor union.
But the council has yet to decide when to start the collective action.
“The vote does not mean we will immediately go on a strike,” Byun Sung-joon, head of the council, told Yonhap News Agency. “What’s needed now is to establish a communication channel joined by the management, creditors and the labor.”
He added around 150 members of the council will head to Seoul on Wednesday as planned for a rally in front of the Samsung Group’s headquarters.
They will then visit the Korea Development Bank (KDB), a main creditor of the firm, to deliver the union’s opposition to the restructuring scheme intended to cut some 1,500 jobs at the shipyard this year alone and sell non-core assets.
Samsung Heavy, one of South Korea’s three major shipyards, has been struggling to stay afloat amid financial troubles attributable to an industry-wide crisis and fierce competition.
In early June, the KDB accepted Samsung’s self-restructuring plan, giving it some time to try to ride out the crisis on its own.