Labour unrest in South Korea threatens memory prices

Unions unhappy with forced moves

A transport strike in South Korea over the weekend looked set to spread to other industries this coming week as unions reacted to massive chaebol re-structuring. And that could lead to a situation we saw not so long ago when workers at both LG Semicon and Hyundai walked out when their jobs looked threatened. (See Korean strikes destroying country's IT business) As reported here last week, Hyundai and LG Semicon's merger will create one of the biggest memory companies in the world. Both the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) had raised the flag of anti-trust laws before the deal was finalised. Now, LG Semicon and Hyundai will attempt to keep the lid on a situation which could leave their rival Samsung benefiting from industrial action. The last time the unions went on strike, memory prices rallied in the industry. Meanwhile, the second largest trade union in the peninsula, the Korean Federation of Trade Unions, threatened to extend its existing transport strike, which has caused riot police to arrive on the streets, to other industries. Throughout next week, the unrest is set to grow, according to the Korean press. Meanwhile, South Korea has received an unprecedented number of allegations that it is dumping products, including one from Taiwan, that it was dumping DRAM on the island. ®

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