Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) suspended production at its Ulsan shipyard on 26 August after workers downed tools over a proposed wage freeze.
HHI’s management told the union during negotiations on 27 July that the company cannot afford to increase remuneration amid the current market.
“It would be ideal if we could give adequate compensation to employees who have been working hard for the company’s revival but, given the company’s financial situation, it is sad we can’t accommodate our staff’s wishes,” said HHI in its staff newsletter.
Related news: Huge lay-offs at South Korea’s ‘big-three’ shipbuilders
HHI’s labour union responded to the proposed wage freeze with the industrial action, held from 14.00 to 17.00 on 26 August.
The union is seeking a KRW127,560 (USD107.25) monthly raise, the doubling of an allowance for living in an industrial area, and the scrapping of a performance-based salary system.
South Korea’s Big Three shipbuilders specialise in building drillships, demand for which has plunged since the oil shock.