Hyundai Heavy workers end week-long strike after tentative deal

Unionized workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., South Korea’s largest shipbuilder, ended their weeklong walkout after a tentative deal was reached, the union said on Wednesday.

Workers began their strike on July 6, occupying a shipbuilding crane in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, to pressure management to come up with concrete proposals after the failed salary agreement.

The interim agreement includes a base salary increase of 41,000 won ($ 35.6) for 2020, reversing a wage freeze that was included in the interim agreement signed in late March.

The unions and management also reached an agreement to quash all kinds of bilateral charges related to the strike.

“While the tentative agreement was reached last night, the full strike, including the occupation of a shipbuilding crane, has come to an end,” said Park Ju-cheol, a union representative.

The 8,500-member union will put the tentative agreement to a vote of its members on Friday, Park said.

If members give the deal the green light, unions and management will end their 26-month stalled wage deal.

In February and April, workers rejected two provisional wage agreements for 2019 and 2020.

The first tentative agreement called for a base salary increase of 46,000 won for 2019, a wage freeze for 2020, and the quashing of a lawsuit against union members who opposed the creation of a holding company in 2019.

The second tentative agreement provided for a special bonus of 2 million won which was not included in the first tentative agreement because management’s offer for a base salary increase did not meet workers’ demands. .

In mid-2019, Hyundai Heavy Industries was split into two entities – Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE), a holding company, and the operating company 100% owned by holding company Hyundai Heavy Industries – to acquire Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine. Engineering company (DSME).

KSOE continued its plan to acquire the country’s second-largest shipbuilder, DSME. (Yonhap)

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