The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Samsung union announces first ever strike

Samsung Tizen / Pierre Lecourt / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Deed (remixed)
Samsung is the global leader in memory, though it faces significant competition from SK Hynix, which leads the market in artificial intelligence memory, or high-bandwidth memory. The strike represents another challenge for the tech giant.

The largest Samsung Electronics union announced a strike — a first for the 55-year-old company.

The National Samsung Electronics Union, representing more than a fifth of the company’s workforce, called for a one-day protest by asking its 28,000 members to take their paid leave on June 7.

Although it is unknown whether smaller unions at Samsung Electronics plan to join the strike, a coalition of five unions in Samsung Group, Samsung Electronics’ parent company, including one union at Samsung Electronics, said they would not join the strike.

The decision comes after wage negotiations with management that started late last year stalled, leading to the announcement on Wednesday.

“We can’t stand persecution against labor unions anymore. We are declaring a strike in the face of the company’s neglect of laborers,” the union said during a news conference.

“The company remains committed to engaging in good faith negotiations with the union,” Samsung said in a statement.

The company had banned its employees from unionizing until 2020 when the heir of the company’s founding family apologized for suppressing union activity following intense public scrutiny and the prosecution of its chairman for market manipulation and bribery.

“Despite Chairman Jay Y. Lee’s declaration that non-union management will be eliminated, there is no change in the management’s attitude,” the union said.

The union wants Samsung Electronics’ management to take their demands more seriously.

Despite struggling with their spot as the top smartphone maker, losing the position in January and regaining it in April, Samsung Electronics managed a 933% increase in operating profit for their first quarter this year thanks to artificial intelligence development.

“What we want is to be paid fairly for the amount of work done,” the union said in a statement.

The union has demanded a 6.5% pay increase and a bonus pegged to company earnings, threatening an all-out strike if management does not accept its demands.

Such a strike would be extremely damaging to the company if it caused a semiconductor fabrication plant to stop, according to Kim Yang-paeng, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.

“The suspension of a semiconductor fab can cause financial losses as the company would have to scrap wafers, and it also can make customers lose their trust in the company,” Kim said.

The company said that it would minimize losses using all legal methods available if a strike were to occur.

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About the Contributor
Bowen Yan
Bowen Yan, Staff Writer
Bowen Yan (Class of 2026) is a staff writer for Scot Scoop. Besides Journalism, he enjoys listening to music, cooking, fashion, and art. He strives to create a positive impact through his journalism.

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