Korean metal workers oppose DDSME, Hyundai Heavy merger


The Korean Metal Workers’ Union and union members from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) submitted a petition to the Fair Trade Commission on Tuesday, claiming that the merger between Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and DSME undermines free competition and would create an oligopoly in South Korea’s shipbuilding industry.

“The merger between Hyundai Heavy Industries and DSME will take a toll on the current employment structure and the life cycle of the country’s shipbuilding industry,” said the union.

“Workers in the field have no choice but to be sensitive towards the merger.”

The union pointed out that the merged company will account for 79.1 percent of all orders made in the shipbuilding industry, since the merger will include the three shipbuilding companies owned by Hyundai Heavy Industries Group (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard).

The union argued that the purpose of the merger lies in evading overlapping investments and maximizing production yield, a scheme that falls short of adding more jobs and allows for easier restructuring.

The union questioned the logic behind allowing a single conglomerate to take a dominant position in the shipbuilding industry, which goes against the principle of free competition and creative business activity.