11 October 2006 06:15 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Unionised staff at Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Center (YNCC) , South Korea’s largest ethylene producer, went on strike on Wednesday morning over salary demands, but operations at its ethylene plants were unaffected, a company source based at the plant said.
"The NCC union has plans to hold a strike campaign (demonstration) in front of the factory at 1700 (08:00 GMT) today," a company official said, adding that it was their first strike in five years.
The strike which started around 07:00 local time (22:00 GMT) involved more than 600 union workers at YNCC and is still ongoing, the source, who declined to be named, said.
He could not say how long the strike will last and if negotiations over wage increases with management have already started.
"Our plant operations are operating normally as several of our engineers are still operating the plants. But our plants are not affected by the strike so far," the source said.
However, if the strike continues and lengthens to "more than seven to 10 days", plant operations may be hurt either by YNCC reducing output of ethylene or forcing an emergency shutdown at the plants "depending on the strike situation", he added.
"If the strike continues over some time, we may not have enough engineers to keep the plants running normally and operations will definitely be affected," the source explained.
Any operating rate reduction at YNCC’s ethylene plants could boost Asia’s olefins prices and in turn drag Asian naphtha prices, traders said.
Only its No 1 year naphtha cracker was shutdown for maintenance on Wednesday morning as scheduled and will be closed for 45 days. YNCC’s two other naphtha crackers are running normally and production haven’t been affected, the source said.
Gina Myung contributed to this article.
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