The Samsung Electronics labor union has called for its first-ever strike.

The National Samsung Electronics Union, representing thousands of workers, has called for the first strike in the South Korean technology giant’s history, spanning five and a half decades. The union plans a one-day protest on June 7th, encouraging members to utilize their paid leave, with the possibility of a full-scale strike in the future. With approximately 28,000 members, the union represents over a fifth of the company’s total workforce. Samsung Electronics has expressed its commitment to ongoing negotiations with the union.

“We can’t stand persecution against labour unions anymore. We are declaring a strike in the face of the company’s neglect of labourers,” stated a union representative during a live-streamed news conference. Discussions between Samsung Electronics’ management and the union regarding wages have been ongoing since the beginning of the year, yet the two sides have not reached an agreement. The union is advocating for a 6.5% pay increase and a bonus linked to the company’s earnings.

As the world’s largest producer of memory chips, smartphones, and televisions, Samsung Electronics plays a significant role in global electronics supply chains. Analysts warn that a full-scale strike could disrupt the firm’s computer chip manufacturing, impacting global supply chains. Samsung Electronics is the flagship entity of the South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group, a prominent player in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

Historically, Samsung Group did not permit unions to represent its employees until 2020, when the company faced public scrutiny following legal proceedings against its chairman for market manipulation and bribery. Following the strike announcement, Samsung Electronics’ shares traded approximately 2% lower in Seoul.