Samsung Electronics union in South Korea stages first walkout

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Samsung Electronics’ workers’ union staged the company’s first-ever strike on Friday, demanding higher wages. While the walkout is unlikely to affect current chip production, it adds pressure to Samsung as it strives to compete in the AI chip market.

The union, representing over a fifth of Samsung’s workforce, is seeking improved compensation through the one-day strike. Samsung claims no impact on production and is committed to further talks. Analysts believe the walkout primarily involves headquarters staff and won’t disrupt memory chip manufacturing.

This action follows recent protests over a 5.1% pay raise for 2024. The union seeks additional benefits and a longer annual leave. Other Samsung unions haven’t joined the strike, urging negotiation instead.

The strike highlights a potential hurdle for Samsung as it battles to catch up in high-performance chips crucial for AI applications. Rivals like SK Hynix and Micron are already supplying such chips to Nvidia, a dominant player in the AI GPU market. This pressure comes as Samsung navigates a “crisis” in the chip industry and attempts to close the gap with competitors.

Source: Reuters

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