Samsung union stages rare rally for fair wages

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STORY: K-pop performances and dance music soundtracked a major demonstration in South Korea Friday (May 24).

More than 2,000 unionised workers from Samsung gathered in Seoul for a rare rally to demand fair wages.

National Samsung Electronic Union President Son Woo-Mok.

“The company said it wouldn’t give out any incentives even though its operating profit has reached 11 trillion won. Employees do not understand this at all, so we continue to call for fair and transparent management.”

Union officials said membership has jumped four-fold over the last two years to 28,000.

Samsung has decided to lift wages this year by 5.1%, and the union does not necessarily oppose such a hike.

But it also wants one more day in annual leave, as well as transparent performance-based bonuses.

Choi Young-Wook is a Samsung chip engineer.

“This is our second union rally ever. We did something similar for the first one. Our rallies are non-violent, and we believe that even with just words, we can still show our strength.”

Negotiations between the company and the union resumed on May 21, according to the union.

Though some officials questioned the company's commitment to consulting with them.

In a statement, Samsung said working-level negotiations had resumed.

They added the main negotiations were scheduled to take place on May 28.