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Samsung Electronics kicks off wage negotiation with union

Oct. 5, 2021 - 16:33 By Shim Woo-hyun
Samsung Electronics corporate logo (Yonhap)

Samsung Electronics and its unions held their first wage talks Tuesday at the company’s plant in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, industry sources said.

Samsung‘s management and the unions will continue their negotiations in the following weeks to decide changes to union members’ terms of employment.

Unionized workers have demanded a uniform raise in salary by 10 million won ($8,400), plus cash and stock bonuses worth 4.5 million won in total.

The union also requests management to return 25 percent of the company’s operating profit to employees as incentives.

A pay raise of 10 million won would be tantamount to a salary hike of up to 51 percent, pushing the average wage from 121 million won in 2020 to 182 million won, according to a local corporate research firm.

The research firm added Samsung Electronics’ net profit would go down by at least 6 trillion won with the wage increase, if realized.

It is the first time that Samsung Electronics is engaging with the labor unions for a wage deal. It follows Samsung Group chief Lee Jae-yong’s pledge to scrap the company’s long-standing policy against collective bargaining in May last year.

In August, Samsung‘s management and the unions signed a collective agreement to settle terms of labor-related issues for the first time since the company was founded in 1969.

Samsung Electronics currently has four labor unions, which have formed a joint bargaining group this time to negotiate salary with management.