DSME: Labor union set to join restructuring move

Ships are under construction at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, on Wednesday, April 22, 2009. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. is the world's third-largest shipyard. Photographer: Seokyong Lee/Bloomberg News

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.’s labor union has decided to join the embattled shipyard’s restructuring move, including a workforce cut, paving the way for the shipbuilder to avoid court receivership, industry sources said Thursday.

Last week, creditors, led by the state-run Korea Development Bank, drew up 3.2 trillion won (US$2.75 billion) worth of financial help for Daewoo Shipbuilding, one of the country’s big three shipyards faced with a protracted industrywide slump and falling new orders.

But the creditors demanded that Daewoo’s labor union submit a written pledge not to go on strikes and launch other collective actions and also join in the company’s implementation of self-rescue measures.

The labor union had strongly denounced the proposal but eventually gave in, as the creditors threatened to put the shipyard under receivership, if the union does not accept it.

Yim Jong-yong, chairman of the Financial Services Commission, has stressed that both the management and labor of the troubled shipbuilder should make “thorough self-rescue efforts” under the principle of “loss-sharing” among stakeholders.

Daewoo Shipbuilding has been seeking to sell more assets. Last week, Daewoo Shipbuilding said it would secure an additional 700 billion won through asset sales, raising the total amount prepared as part of its self-rescue measures to 6 trillion won.

The shipyard is also working to reduce the number of its employees by some 20 percent to 10,000 by the end of this year.

The KDB’s board of directors will gather Friday to approve the financial aid for Daewoo Shipbuilding.
Source: Yonhap

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