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Hyundai Heavy workers vote for strike proposal

All News 19:39 July 15, 2016

ULSAN, South Korea, July 15 (Yonhap) -- Workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. on Friday voted to launch a strike demanding a greater say in management and a hike in wages.

But the approval of the proposed strike does not mean an immediate walkout, according to the labor union.

Should the shipbuilder's workers lay down their tools this year, it will mark the third consecutive year that the shipyard has faced a labor strike.

Since early May, the company's management and labor union have held 18 rounds of negotiations to narrow their differences, but failed to do so.

Workers at Samsung Heavy Industries Co. launched their first partial strike last week, calling on the company to scrap its restructuring move, including a massive job cut.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. workers also voted to launch a strike sometime soon.

South Korean shipbuilders have been under severe financial strain since the 2008 global economic crisis that sent new orders tumbling amid a glut of vessels and tougher competition from Chinese rivals.

The country's top three shipyards -- Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. -- suffered a combined operating loss of 8.5 trillion won (US$7.4 billion) last year due largely to increased costs stemming from a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and an industrywide slump, with the Daewoo Shipbuilding alone posting a 5.5 trillion won loss.

The shipbuilders have recently drawn up sweeping self-rescue programs worth 10.35 trillion won in their desperate bids to overcome a protracted slump and mounting losses.

sam@yna.co.kr
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