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  • Workers at South Korean tech giant Samsung begin a three-day strike
  • Workers are striking for better annual leave conditions and a transparent bonus system
  • Samsung declined to comment
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Samsung Electronics
Workers at South Korean tech giant Samsung begin a three-day strike. Babak Habibi/Unsplash

Workers at South Korean tech giant Samsung begin a three-day strike

Workers at South Korean technology giant Samsung began a three-day general strike on Monday over pay and benefits, the head of a union representing tens of thousands of workers told AFP news agency, warning that the strike could affect the production of memory chips.

Samsung Electronics is the world's largest producer of memory chips, accounting for a significant proportion of the world's top-quality chips.

Thousands of workers gathered outside the company's semiconductor plant, an hour south of Seoul, holding banners that read "Let's fight together".

Workers are striking for better annual leave conditions and a transparent bonus system

Samsung managers have been negotiating with the union since January. However, disagreements over fringe benefits have not been resolved, and the union has rejected the company's offer of a 5.1% pay rise.

"The strike starts today," Son Woo-mook, head of the national union at Samsung Electronics, told the AFP news agency.
"Today's general strike is just the beginning," he added.

The union, which has over 30,000 members and represents over a fifth of the company's workforce, said around 5,200 workers from the factory, production, and development departments had agreed to participate in the protest.

The strike follows a one-day strike in June, the first industrial action at the company, which has not had a trade union for more than a decade.

In March, the workers rejected a 5.1% pay rise, while the union had previously put forward workers' demands, including better conditions for annual leave and a transparent performance-related bonus system.

Samsung declined to comment

According to critics, Samsung Electronics has avoided allowing its workers to organize unions for almost 50 years, sometimes using brutal means to do so. Meanwhile, the company itself has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones and semiconductors.

The first trade union at Samsung Electronics was set up in the late 1990s.

Based on ELTA reports.