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.