Unionized workers at South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. launched an all-out strike for a second day on Friday demanding better working conditions and opposing the firm's spin-off scheme.
The labor union leaders told all 15,000 union members to stage an eight-hour walkout starting from 8 a.m.
Still, a small number of unionized workers are expected to participate in the walkout. Only about 10 percent or some 1,500 unionized workers actually took part in Thursday's strike, according to the labor union.
Company officials said the walkout would not cause any serious damage in missed output, noting workers from smaller contractors account for nearly 70 percent of the firm's entire workforce.
The walkout came after a series of apparently not so successful wage negotiations between the company and unionized Hyundai Heavy employees that began last year.
However, many believe the strike may have been more aimed at expressing the union's opposition to the proposed spin-offs of the company's non-shipbuilding units.
The labor union has argued that the split will not only undermine the job security of those who will be relocated, but also that of some 13,000 unionized workers to be left behind.
They said they planned to stage an all-out strike again on Monday when the company is scheduled to hold a shareholders' meeting, which is widely expected to vote on the proposed split of the shipbuilder.
Last year, Hyundai Heavy unveiled a scheme to reorganize its businesses into six separate companies this year in its latest efforts to regain competitiveness and financial health. The decision comes in the form of part of the shipyard's self-rescue plans in which it said it will seek to sell noncore assets and cut jobs.
Hyundai Heavy and the other leading Korean shipbuilders -- Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. -- have been under financial strain amid a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and falling new orders, which resulted in massive losses. (Yonhap)