Seoul intervenes in ongoing strike at DSME

The South Korean government has tried to intervene in an ongoing, highly damaging strike which has seen subcontractors occupy the largest drydock at shipbuilding major Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) since the beginning of June.

The prime minister, Han Duck-soo, as well as labour and industry ministers yesterday called for an end to the strike, which is estimated to have already set DSME back by more $400m.

“Because of the sitdown strike at (DSME’s) dock, production and delivery of three vessels is being stalled,” Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang said Thursday in a press conference.

DSME’s production schedule has been severely hampered by the six-week long strike.

DSME, which has been under state control since coming close to bankruptcy in the middle of the last decade, is once again facing a capital squeeze, admitting last week its debt ratio increased to 547% by the end of the first quarter because of a number of issues, including the cancellation of Russian ship orders, soaring raw material price increases and the ongoing strike.

CEO Park Doo-sun said the yard, one of the world’s largest, was entering an emergency period.

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.
Back to top button