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Unionized workers of Hyundai Heavy to stage partial strike

Unionized workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries decided Monday to stage a partial walkout this week as part of a general strike planned by their umbrella organization.

The walkout will be staged for three hours from 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the company's labor union said.

It will mark the first of its kind this year by the unionized workers at the shipbuilder.


The decision came hours after the Korean Metal Workers' Union and its member unions announced a plan to stage a general strike next Wednesday in protest against government-led restructuring.

"The government's misguided policy on the shipbuilding sector has caused more than 100,000 workers to lose their jobs," the groups said in a press conference, held in front of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

They denounced Hyundai Heavy Industries Group's proposed move to take over its smaller rival Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co.

In March, Hyundai Heavy signed a formal deal, worth an estimated 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion), with the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) to buy Daewoo Shipbuilding.

The country's antitrust watchdog is reviewing whether their proposed merger would restrain market competition.

"There are concerns that the proposed merger could hamper the ecosystem in the shipbuilding sector. But the government is pushing ahead with the business consolidation," the labor groups claimed.

They insisted that the government should unveil supporting measures to help midsized shipbuilders recover from sectoral downturns, not seek to overhaul the industry.

The labor union at Hyundai Heavy said its members will stage a seven-hour walkout on Aug. 28 to join a protest rally in Seoul.

Meanwhile, unionized workers at Hyundai Motor Co., the single largest union under the wings of the Metal Workers' Union, said they will decide whether to join the general strike on Tuesday. (Yonhap)