Doosan Heavy Industries considers worker furlough

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Doosan Heavy Industries considers worker furlough

Doosan Heavy Industries, the cash-strapped manufacturer of nuclear and other power stations, may furlough workers as its business struggles.

CEO Jung Yeon-in sent a statement to the labor union late Tuesday requesting consent for temporary leave at 70 percent salary.

While the statement didn’t specify the size and target of the cost-cutting measure, the CEO said the manufacturer is in the midst of a severe crisis.

“We’ve reached the limit,” he said. “The factory in Changwon is under-utilized.”

The company explained that the move is not a prelude to the closing of a business line or a factory.

“There will be no shutdowns or curtailing of hours at the Changwon factory,” the company said in a release carried on the Financial Supervisory Service’s disclosure site.

“The measure will only ask some idle workers to take a temporary leave,” it said.

The union, however, turned down the offer on Wednesday, saying that management or those holding top positions should make more sacrifices instead of having workers take on the burden.

“Workers have already made efforts to turn the company around,” said a union member who requested anonymity.

He said that many workers have voluntarily retired in support of the company and added that wealthy major shareholders can use their personal fortunes to boost the company.

The worker criticized management for not being able to respond to the Moon Jae-in administration’s push to ditch nuclear power, a major challenge for the company.

The process of choosing idle workers will likely be unfair, the worker added.

“There is no clearly-stated standard to determine who is necessary who is not,” he said.

The union is scheduled to hold a press briefing today to express its position.

Over the past five years, Doosan Heavy Industries lost more than 1 trillion won ($840 million), and a credit rating downgrade is now seen as a possibility for the company.

Doosan Heavy Industries, which trades on the main Kospi index, fell 21.44 percent on Wednesday to 3,590 won.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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