REUTERS/KIM SOO-HYEON / MAY 24 A member of the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) holds a placard that reads “Respect labour” in front of the Samsung Electronics Seocho Building in Seoul, South Korea.

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REUTERS/KIM SOO-HYEON / MAY 24

A member of the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) holds a placard that reads “Respect labour” in front of the Samsung Electronics Seocho Building in Seoul, South Korea.

SEOUL >> A Samsung Electronics union in South Korea is due to stage on Friday the first walkout at the technology giant, but some analysts did not expect the labor action over pay and conditions to have a major impact on chip production.

The National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU), which has about 28,000 members, or more than a fifth of the company’s total workforce, has said it will stop work for a day as part of broader protest measures.

Market research firm TrendForce said it did not see the walkout impacting DRAM and NAND Flash memory chip production, nor triggering shipment shortages.

Trendforce noted that the walkout involved more workers at the Samsung headquarters in the capital Seoul rather than those directly involved in production.

Also, the strike is only planned for a day and falls a day after a public holiday, meaning some staff had already applied for leave. Production is also heavily automated, meaning the strike is unlikely to have a substantial impact, it said.

Workers have been intermittently participating in protests in recent weeks outside the company’s offices in Seoul as well as outside its chip production site in Hwaseong, south of Seoul.

Responding to a decision by the company to increase wages this year by 5.1%, the union has said that it wanted an additional day of annual leave as well as transparent performance-based bonuses.

Samsung Electronics has previously said it would “sincerely engage in discussions with the union.”

The union had said all company sites across South Korea would be affected by its June 7 action. NSEU is the biggest of five labor unions at the company.

Last week, a coalition of five unions at Samsung affiliates including another smaller Samsung Electronics union questioned the intention behind the strike plan, indicating they would not join the move.

Union membership increased rapidly after Samsung Electronics in 2020 pledged to put an end to its practices of discouraging the growth of organized labor.


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