AsiaShipyards

Hyundai Heavy merger protest turns violent

Shipyard workers in South Korea have repeatedly made their feelings known about the proposed merger between two of the nation’s top shipbuilders and yesterday the anger turned to violence.

Ahead of a shareholders meeting on Friday to approve a mega merger in the shipbuilding world, unionised workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) launched today a full strike against the proposed tie up with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

The labour union has staged a partial walkout since May 16. The full strike today came a day after hundreds of workers charged into a four-story building for a sit-down protest, triggering violent scenes with HHI’s security personnel. Over at DSME there have also been repeated protests over the merger amid job loss fears. The two yards have already seen 30,000 lay-offs over the past four years.

A local court has ruled any attempt to block the shareholder meeting from happening will be met with very severe fines.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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