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Shipyard workers set to stage strike this week

All News 09:54 July 18, 2016

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- Workers at the country's major shipbuilders will stage a joint strike this week, demanding that tough restructuring moves currently underway be scrapped.

According to the sources, unionized workers at the country's Big Three shipyards -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. -- and five other smaller shipbuilders plan to launch a partial strike for four hours on Wednesday.

An estimated 30,000 workers may join the walkout, the sources said.

Samsung Heavy workers already staged a partial strike last week. Workers at Hyundai Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding approved a strike proposal.

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 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 industry-wide slump, with 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 a desperate bid to overcome a protracted slump and mounting losses.

Meanwhile, workers at Hyundai Motor Co., the country's top automaker, are set to go on a partial strike on Tuesday, and may extend it to Thursday, demanding a pay raise and better working conditions.

sam@yna.co.kr
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