The labor unions of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) downed tools in their first full strike since 1994, 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.
According to Yonhap News
Agency reports the other reason for the industrial strike was failed wage negotiations. Although 15,000 union members were invited to take part in the eight-hour strike, only ten percent of workers participated in it.
The labor unions’ employees started a strike for eight hours from 8 a.m. on Thursday, which will last also on Friday and Monday.
Company executives of the world’s largest shipbuilding company said that the strikes have had minimal impact on productivity. The operations will not be serious affected during the walkout, as workers from smaller contractors account for nearly 70% of the firm’s entire workforce.
The order backlog of HHI's Gunsan shipyard in North Jeolla Province is expected to be completely emptied after it delivers its last ship at the end of June. A number of subcontractors near the Gunsan shipyard have reportedly been closing their doors one after another since October. Of the 86 HHI subcontractors, 27 have so far gone out of business.
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.