Samsung Group Faces Wage Hike Demand from Unionized Workers

SEOUL — Unionized workers from 11 labor unions within Samsung Group have officially requested an average wage increase of 5.4 percent for the current year. This collective demand was announced during a press conference held by the Samsung Group Labor Unions Solidarity on Tuesday, emphasizing the need for adjustments based on the 3.6 percent inflation rate for 2023 and a 1.8 percent rise in labor productivity.

According to Yonhap News Agency, their demands extend beyond wage increases. They are calling for improvements in the wage peak system, an extension of the retirement age, measures to ensure a work-life balance including the provision of five days of refreshment leave, the introduction of a fair evaluation system, and the establishment of a joint labor-management task force. Furthermore, the unions have proposed a direct meeting with Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong to foster better labor-management relations. They expressed a desire for Chairman Lee to engage with union representatives personally, highlighting his previous decision to move away from Samsung's long-standing union-free management approach as a positive step toward addressing their proposals for the mutual benefit of both sides. The solidarity represents members from various Samsung Group affiliates, including Samsung Display Co., Samsung Life Insurance Co., and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co.

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