Unionized workers of Samsung Electronics were set to launch a one-day walkout over wages on Friday, a union official said, in what would be the first walkout at the technology giant.

About 28,000 members of the National Samsung Electronics Union (NSEU) were set to collectively take the day off, but some analysts expected the labour action to have no major impact on production.

The NSEU said it will not disclose the number of workers joining the walkout, saying the decision should be made voluntarily, reports Yonhap news agency.

“Coordinated use of vacation is our first step in moving toward our final goal of a large-scale strike,” Lee Hyun-guk, deputy chief of the NSEU, said.

Market researcher TrendForce said the one-day leave is not expected to cause disruptions in Samsung’s production as Friday is a weekday between a holiday on Thursday and the weekend and Samsung’s semiconductor fabs have a high automation rate.

Meanwhile, Samsung is grappling with internal and external challenges at a critical time when it should be focusing on enhancing its competitiveness in the key semiconductor business amid a rapidly changing business environment.

Samsung Electronics has not had a strike since its founding in 1969.

The NSEU is the biggest labour union in Samsung Electronics with nearly 28,000 members, accounting for 22 per cent of the company’s 125,000 employees.

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