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Samsung Electronics union in South Korea says it will strike indefinitely

Samsung Electronics union in South Korea says it will strike indefinitely
The National Samsung Electronics Union said it has decided to continue striking because management has shown no intention of holding talks after a strike that started on July 8.
PHOTO: Reuters

SEOUL —?A workers' union at tech giant Samsung Electronics said on July 10 it would continue to strike indefinitely, stepping up its campaign for better pay and benefits.

The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), whose roughly 30,000 members make up almost a quarter of the company's South Korean workforce, said it has decided to continue striking because management has shown no indication of holding talks after a strike that started on July 8.

"We haven't spoken to management since we started the strike on Monday," said?Lee Hyun-kuk, the union's vice-president.

The union said it would extend the strike, initially planned to last three days through July 10.

Lee told Reuters that the union found its strike has disrupted production on certain chip lines, such as with equipment running more slowly.

Samsung said the strike had caused no disruption during the first three days.

"Samsung Electronics will ensure no disruptions occur in the production lines. The company remains committed to engaging in good faith negotiations with the union," it said in a statement.

NSEU is becoming more vocal and seeking to be treated as an equal partner, adding to challenges at the world's biggest memory chipmaker, which is struggling to navigate competition in chips used for artificial intelligence applications.

Lee said about 6,500 workers have been participating in the strike and that the union will encourage more members to join.

NSEU officials have disputed reports of low participation, telling Reuters that the five-year-old body did not have enough time to educate members about the labour issues. It held a training session on July 9 and will conduct another on July 10.

Analysts said it would be difficult to verify whether the strike has disrupted production unless the union provides details of wafers and processes.

NSEU said it has revised demands to include a 3.5 per cent increase in base salary and, instead of an extra day's annual leave, a day off to mark the union's founding.

Lee said the management previously offered a three?per cent rise in base salary, but the union wants 3.5 per cent to better reflect inflation.

ALSO READ:?Samsung workers' union in South Korea kicks off three-day strike

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