Business Korea reports that experts fear that the demonstrations will result to slowing the South Korean shipbuilding industry’ recovery that has just begun. The South Korean shipbuilding industry had almost collapse in the mid 2010s. Since then, close to 14 trillion won has been poured into Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering from taxpayers’ pockets.

The sale of DSME to HHI will boost the industry, which relies on taxpayers’ money. The business combination can result in a more efficient R&D investment and an economy of scale for more competitiveness.

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The announcement of the forthcoming merger between the two most major South Korean shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., made headlines in 2019. Prior to that, the announcement of a planned merger between the two major Chinese shipbuilders, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. and China State Shipbuilding Corp., came as the latest in a row of mergers of state-owned businesses in the country.

Nonetheless, the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering branch of the union is claiming that the sale will lead to a layoff.

Following the union, DSME workers demand a 5.8% increase in base pay, additional to improving their working conditions for in-house subcontract workers, retirement age adjustment from 60 to 62, and so on, which are not being accepted by the management.