Hanjin shipyard workers continue strike against mass dismissal


HHIC workers in Korea continue their struggle against mass dismissal conducted by the management in violation of a local collective bargaining agreement on the company's restructuring redundancy policy.

KOREA: Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC) workers at the shipyards in Busan and Ulsan have been on strike since December 20, 2010, against a mass dismissal plan conducted by the management. On February 14, the company suddenly locked out workers at the plants without informing the union. Three union officials, Kim Jin-suk, Moon Chul-sang and Chae Gil-young are staging aerial sit-in protest on a 50-meter-high crane at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan.

The strike started in December because the management violated the local collective bargaining agreement signed on February 26, 2010, which stated "the company stops, as of today, its mass restructuring redundancy development started from December 18, 2009." Despite this agreement, the management has been ignoring the union's demands and conducting mass dismissal plan without having any agreement with the union, the Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU). The management is also claiming compensation of damages caused by the strike from the union leaders and officials.

The union's demands are:

  • withdraw voluntary redundancy-mass dismissal
  • distribute performance-related pay of 2009 and 2010
  • secure the proper quantity for production to maintain workload
  • withdraw all accusing and charging to the union leaders and officials
  • stop unfair suspension of works
  • follow the CBA on the union activity

HHIC has also been violating workers' and trade union rights, as well as health and safety standards, at shipyards of the Subic Freeport Zone in Philippines, since it began its operation in 2006. Please also see here an article published on the website of the Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) who is supporting and organizing HHIC-Philippines Workers Union.

KMWU believes that the mass redundancy conducted by the management in Korea is anti-union tactics aimed at moving the production to the place where there is no protection of trade union rights.

The IMF calls on its affiliates to support a solidarity message to the striking workers by sending your message of support to the KMWU international department at: [email protected] & [email protected] copied to IMF at [email protected]