Talks to End S.Korea Shipyard Workers Strike Starts

The Korean Metal Workers Union, which represents the striking workers, and the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), have continued talks over workers’ pay raise. 

According to union officials, a new round of talks was scheduled on Wednesday morning after DSME refused their new proposal of a 15% salary increase from the original demand of a 30% increase.  

Officials said DSME stood firm to its original offer of a 4.5% pay raise.  

The new round of talks came after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday the country has “waited long enough” for the strike to end, allegedly hinting at the possibility of using force to break up the prolonged strike. 

Earlier, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and four other Cabinet offices warned that the striking workers “must be held responsible in terms of criminal punishment and compensation.”  

Floor leader Kweon Seong-dong also denounced the strike and called it an “act of terrorism.” 

On June 2, about a hundred subcontract workers occupied DSME’s shipyard on Geoje Island, South Gyeongsang province, and demanded a 30% salary increase to make up for cuts in recent years. 

According to reports, the strike halted operations at the company, which caused millions of dollars in losses.  

The government held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss measures to cope with the strike. 

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