South Korean Samsung Workers Protest Wage Hikes

Samsung Electronics workers filed a complaint with the labor authority against Samsung management for reviving “its non-union management” policy.

“The labor-management council’s negotiations are illegal, in violation of Article 33 and Article 5 of the Workers’ Participation Act,” the union said Monday.

“The company announced a nine percent wage increase and three days of paid leave, but in reality, most employees will receive a five percent salary increase. The employees are outraged by the company’s lies,” the union added.

Under Japan’s labor law, the labor-management council has the authority only to discuss workplace conditions with the company on behalf of employees.

Samsung’s unionized workers, who account for around 4 percent of the total 110,000 employees, have been engaged in wage negotiations with management since October last year.

The two parties have held 19 rounds of negotiations but failed to iron out their differences despite arbitration efforts by the National Labor Relations Commission.

“The labor-management council, elected to suit the company’s tastes, does not represent all 110,000 Samsung Electronics members,” the union said.

“Since last year, we have been patient and tried as much as possible to reach a settlement of wage negotiations through dialogue with the company, but the company is forcing the union to protest,” the union said.


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