Samsung Workers Down Tools Marking The First Strike in 55-Year History

Samsung Electronics is in the middle of a historical moment at the company – the first worker strike to take place in its 55-year history. Workers downed tools on Monday in South Korea to kick off a 3-day strike over better pay and the union responsible for the strike says further action will be taken if the company falls short on their demands.

The 30,000 Samsung workers make up almost a quarter of South Korea’s workforce so this strike is set to have major implications for the country if no agreement is made within the 3-day cycle. Out of the total workforce, 6,540 workers were expected to strike.

The workers are demanding more pay and an extra day of annual leave. In addition, workers are asking the company to change the employee bonus system. About 3,000 workers attended a rally in the rain near Samsung’s headquarters in Hwaseong, south of Seoul

Samsung says the current strike has caused no disruption in production. Although, most of the workers are made up of those working in automated production lines and equipment departments.

After the media reported low strike participation, union president Son Woo-mok said the union didn’t have enough time to educate workers about the issues at Samsung. He also says the union is relatively new but the turnout has been good.

Union vice president Lee Hyun-kuk warns that further strikes will hit Samsung if demands are not met and the workplace isn’t improved. Samsung, on the other hand, has proposed flexibility in pay and annual leave conditions. However, the company has not met the demands for an increase in pay and leave.

The strike seems to be the start of an even larger issue at Samsung. The disruption also comes at a crucial time for the company as the AI boom has taken over the tech world. Samsung is the largest chip maker in the world and if staff morale isn’t improved, it may cause a ripple effect throughout the industry.

Samsung is expected to host its Galaxy Unpacked event tomorrow where the company will unveil its next foldable devices, Galaxy Watches and audio equipment.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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