Workers Strike Over Shipyard Merger Plans

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By The Maritime Executive 05-29-2019 08:34:31

Workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries are running a series of strikes this week over the company's plan to merge with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). 

Hyundai Heavy Industries agreed the $1.6 billion deal with Korea Development Bank in March. The bank is DSME's largest shareholder, with a controlling 55.7 percent. Under the deal, DSME will be split into a subholding company and a reorganized Hyundai Heavy Industries that will take over its shipbuilding and offshore businesses.

Unions claim that the split will mean that Hyundai Heavy Industries will inherit massive debt, leading to job cuts. Hundreds of workers are staging a sit-in at the town hall where shareholders are expected to approve the deal on Friday.

The deal will create the world's largest shipbuilding group with a market share of around 20 percent. Employment security has been confirmed for DSME workers, the current management structure will also be retained. 

Recently, global shipbuilding market conditions are improving. There won’t be any better time for Hyundai Heavy Industries and DSME, the two leading shipbuilders of the nation, to achieve the shared aim of taking the global shipbuilding sector to the next level, said the companies in March.