Average Wages of Major South Korean Shipyard Employees Surge by 15% in 1 Year
The average wages of employees belonging to the “Big 3” shipyards in South Korea — HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Hanwha Ocean — have increased by approximately 15% in the past year. Particularly noteworthy is Hanwha Ocean, where the average wage surged by around 12 million won (US$9,295) compared to a year ago. This increase can be attributed to the conversion of various allowances, such as yearly and monthly leave, contracted holidays, and overlapping holiday bonuses, into the basic salary in the middle of this year.
According to the quarterly reports of HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Hanwha Ocean released on Nov. 21, the average wages of employees for the third quarter were reported as 64.22 million won, 64 million won, and 63 million won, respectively. The average wages for the third quarter of this year across the three companies reached 63.74 million won, indicating an approximately 15% increase compared to the same period last year when it was 55.37 million won.
Comparing to the third quarter of last year, the most significant increase in wages was observed at Hanwha Ocean, rising by a whopping 23% from 51 million won to 63 million won. This surge is attributed to the implementation of a wage reform plan announced by the company in July. Hanwha Ocean converted various allowances into basic salary, including the transformation of monthly leave, which was originally set at 12 days, along with annual leave. Additionally, there was a reduction in contracted holidays and vacations accompanied by an increase in the basic salary. Following this, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries saw an increase of around 12%, while Samsung Heavy Industries experienced a rise of approximately 10%.
It seems that there has been progress in addressing the longstanding challenge of workforce shortages in the shipbuilding industry. Notably, there has been a substantial growth in the number of employees at Samsung Heavy Industries. As of the third quarter of last year, the company had around 8,936 employees at its headquarters. A year later, the workforce had increased to 9,462 by the end of the third quarter of this year.
During the same period, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries saw an increase of approximately 300 employees, growing from 12,715 to 13,004. Similarly, Hanwha Ocean experienced a slight increase in its workforce, rising from 8,738 to 8,779.
This is interpreted as a result of the government’s efforts to expand the foreign workforce. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, the number of personnel deployed to domestic shipbuilding sites reached 14,359 by the third quarter of this year, surpassing the estimated shortage of 14,000 workers projected until the end of this year.
Source: Business Korea