15.9 C
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Evergreen Line
Evergreen Line
Home News HMM staves off strike with salary deal

HMM staves off strike with salary deal

HMM’s management and unions representing the Korean flagship carrier’s seafarers and office staff have hammered out a deal on salaries today, 2 September.

Salaries will be raised by 7.9% and bonuses of up to 650% of monthly salaries will be paid.

After enduring frozen salaries from 2011 to 2019, because of HMM’s poor performance in those years, the employees were disappointed at meager increments of 2% this year, after the company achieved a record profit resulting from Covid-19-related supply chain disruptions.

Staff expected increments of 25% this year but HMM’s largest shareholder, state policy lender Korea Development Bank, was said to have baulked at large salary raises after swapping debt for equity.

Talks between the unions and HMM’s management started on 18 June and collapsed several times despite mediation by the government’s Central Labor Relations Committee as both sides could not narrow their disagreement.

In July, Swiss-Italian liner giant MSC attempted to poach HMM’s seafarers, offering salaries 2.5 times what HMM is paying.

On 22 August, the seafaring union voted to strike three days later and 317 seafarers handed in resignation letters to the union, signalling an intention to join MSC.

On 30 August, HMM’s office staff also voted to strike.

Wanting to avert a strike that could mean a US$580 million loss, HMM’s management pleaded for more talks. While the mass resignation and strike were pushed back, some seafarers held a picket protest on two ships, Hyundai Brave and HMM Rotterdam yesterday (1 September) evening in Busan.

HMM said, “After productive talks and discussions that lasted for about 18 hours, both the management and the unions reached an amicable resolution based on goodwill and mutual understanding.

“To date, there have not been any disruptions to run our service routes and vessel operations. All things currently remain normal.”

However, HMM’s seafarers’ union said that while the compromise fell short of its expectations, it understood the repercussions on the country if industrial action went ahead.

Speaking at a press conference after hammering out the wage deal, Jang Jong-Geum, chairman of HMM’s seafarers union, said that salaries were frozen for nearly a decade, even as the company achieved record earnings in 2020.

He added, “Given the inflation in those years, the increment doesn’t make much of a difference. We asked for a 25% increment, but given what we went through (from 2011 to 2019), this figure should be viewed as a salary normalisation rather than a real raise.”

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

Latest Posts

Port of Liverpool’s container division to commence redundancy consultations

Following a "sustained and significant deterioration" in container volumes at the port, the Port of Liverpool will commence redundancy consultations with workers in its container...

Singapore is top maritime centre for 10th consecutive year

Singapore is ranked the top maritime centre in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCDI) Report for the tenth consecutive year.The report, published...

The Advantages of Geomembrane in Environmental Protection

As sustainability becomes a priority, more attention is turning to geomembrane for environmental safeguarding applications. Geomembranes are large impermeable sheets made of materials like polyvinyl...

SITC International spends over US$100 million buying ships and containers from associate

SITC International Holdings, the holding company of Hong Kong-based intra-Asia carrier SITC Container Lines, said on 21 September that it will spend over US$100...

New container service connects Europe with South America

ONE (Ocean Network Express) and Cosco Shipping will start the LUX service. This route connects Europe and the Mediterranean to the east coast of...