July 19, 2019

HHI labor union protests layoffs in DSME after takeover

PUBLISHED : February 11, 2019 - 13:52

UPDATED : February 11, 2019 - 13:52

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The labor union at Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipyard by sales, demanded on Feb. 11 that the company provide job guarantees to its employees if it wants to proceed with its push to buy a smaller local rival.

Last month, state-run Korea Development Bank signed a temporary memorandum of understanding with HHI to sell its controlling stake in rival Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

DSME’s labor union has expressed worries that the takeover will lead to massive layoffs, which HHI workers have also claimed.

“Labor-management relations could go from bad to worse should the management go ahead with the takeover push without guaranteeing existing jobs,” HHI union said in its newsletter.

“The management should apologize for closed-door negotiations, and promise the union’s participation in the takeover process,” it said.

DSME’s labor union also said its member workers will vote on whether to go on a strike later next week in opposition to HHI’s takeover bid.

Unionists at the shipbuilder have already vowed to jointly move against the proposed deal.

If the takeover, estimated at over 2 trillion won (US$1.77 billion), goes ahead, the Korean shipbuilding industry is expected to be dominated by two major shipbuilders -- HHI and Samsung Heavy Industries.

By Ram Garikipati and newswires (

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