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HMM Maritime Labor

"While union leaders representing HMM’s seafarers and office staff continue to negotiate with the management for higher salary increments, the seafarers are going ahead with a picket protest with Busan. At 14:00 Seoul time today (1 September), Kim Jin-man and Jang Jong-geum, the heads of the unions representing shore-based employees and seafarers respectively, began talks with HMM president Bae Jae-hoon. On 22 August, the seafaring union held a vote to decide on a strike and of the 450 members who came, more than 92% chose to strike. HMM’s Swiss-Italian rival, MSC is attempting to poach the South Korean carrier’s crew with salaries that are 2.5 times what the latter is paying, and 317 of HMM’s seafarers have submitted their resignation letters to the union. Desperate to avoid a strike that could cause US$580 million in losses, HMM’s management pressed the seafaring union to resume discussions. The strike was initially set for 25 August and the mass resignation was postponed while the talks continued."

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