South Korea Samsung union declares 'indefinite' strike

South Korea Samsung union declares 'indefinite' strike

South Korea Samsung union declares indefinite strike

Members of the National Samsung Electronics Union shout slogans during a rally outside of Samsung Electronics' Hwaseong campus in Hwaseong, South Korea, Monday, July 8, 2024.

A union representing tens of thousands of workers at Samsung Electronics in South Korea said on Wednesday it would extend a three-day strike indefinitely in a bid to force management to negotiate.

"[We] declare a second indefinite general strike from July 10, after learning that the management has no willingness to talk," the National Samsung Electronics Union said in a statement.

More than 5,000 members stopped working on July 8 for what was meant to be a three-day strike, part of a long-running battle over pay and benefits.

The move follows a one-day walkout in June, the first such collective action at the company, which went decades without unionization.

The union has more than 30,000 members, more than a fifth of the company's total workforce.

Samsung said on July 9 that there had been no disruption to production, the Yonhap news agency reported, although the union claimed that the strike was having a major impact.

"We have confirmed the clear disruption in production, and the management will regret this choice," the union said in the statement announcing the indefinite strike.

"The longer the strike lasts, the more the management will suffer, and eventually, they will kneel and come to the negotiation table. We are confident of victory."

The union blamed Samsung management for "obstructing" the strike, saying they did not appear willing to engage in dialogue.

It urged more workers to participate, including "those who are still hesitant."

"Your determination is needed to advance our goals and victory. Let us unite our strength to protect our rights and create a better future."