The entire union force of South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. (HHI) would lay their tools for three full working days from Thursday, their first collective walkout in 23 years, in protest to a sweeping restructuring plan that includes spinoff all non-shipbuilding operations as well as shutdown of a dock in Gunsan in southern coastal region.
The entire 15,000 union workforce was ordered to go on a strike for eight hours from 8 a.m. Thursday. Another full-day is scheduled for Friday and Monday when shareholders meet to approve the management’s proposed demerger and restructuring plan.
The union has been staging partial walkout to protest to the retrenchment program. The management maintains the full-day strike won’t greatly affect its industrial activity.
Last November, the shipbuilding group announced that it would spin off all non-shipbuilding operation and curb operation against dwindling orders and protracted global slump in compliance with government-led restructuring program for troubled shipbuilding and shipping sectors. It has decided to first close the seven-year-old dry dock in Gunsan which would run out of work this year.
The union also maintains that it cannot accept the management wage terms for this year. The management has offered to secure jobs for its workers until the year-end while proposing 20 percent cut in this year’s base salaries for everyone on the payroll.
Shares of Hyundai Heavy Industries closed Thursday at 156,500 won ($137.58), down 0.32 percent or 500 won from the previous session.