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DSME workers call for withdrawal of Daewoo Shipbuilding sale

All News 16:08 October 05, 2021

By Nam Kwang-sik

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- Unionized workers at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of the shipbuilder's sale to its local rival Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co. (HHIH).

In a press conference held at Geoje City Hall, about 400 kilometers south of Seoul, the workers said the government should withdraw the sale of DSME as the deal fell apart for the fourth time.

In March 2019, HHIH, the holding company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, signed the deal with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), the main creditor of DSME, to acquire a 55.72 percent stake in the shipbuilder that had been mired in a severe cash shortage since 1999.

The deal could create the world's biggest shipbuilder with a 21 percent market share.

Unionized workers at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) shout a slogan against the sale of DSME to Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co. (HHIH) in front of Geoje City Hall, about 400 kilometers south of Seoul, on Oct. 5, 2021, in this photo provided by the DSME labor union. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

However, the deal fell through for the fourth time since March 2019, as HHIH failed to get approval from six countries related to the deal.

The continued delay of the deal showed the government's decision to sell the shipbuilder to HHIH, one of the country's family conglomerates, is not a way to keep DSME afloat but a favor to HHIH, the workers claimed.

Unionized workers have been opposed to the deal for fear that it might cut their jobs and stifle about 1,240 suppliers of DSME, citing HHIH's shipbuilders have been supplied with ship parts by their own affiliates.

Only three countries -- China, Kazakhstan and Singapore -- have given the green light for the deal, but South Korea, China and the European Union have yet to approve it.

On Thursday, the KDB pushed back the deadline to finalize the deal by the end of the year for the fourth time.

ksnam@yna.co.kr
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