News & Events

Planned strike at Samsung Display unlikely to affect AMOLED supply

The supply of AMOLED panels by Samsung Display (SDC) for production of Apple's next-generation iPhone devices slated for launch in the latter half of 2021 is unlikely to be affected by a strike reportedly to be taken by its workers starting June 21, according to sources from Taiwan's panel industry.

The strike is being scheduled after SDC's management and its labor union failed to reach an agreement on the salary increases planned for 2021 after repeated negotiations.

The labor union had asked for a 6.8% increase in salary, but the management had insisted on the 4.5% set by the previous labor-management consultation meeting.

However, the sources said it appears that only workers at SDC's LCD panel production lines may join the strike, and those who are working at the AMOLED lines will not be involved.

Some industry obervers pointed out that the strike could also be related to SDC's delays in shutting down its LCD production lines, causing uneasiness among its workers.

The Korean panel maker initially notified customers at the beginning of 2020 that it planned to close all its domestic LCD panel production lines by the end of 2020.

SDC later decided to postpone the closing of its LCD lines to the end of 2021 as demand for LCD panels continued to surge in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and the panel prices continued rising amid tight supply.

And now, SDC decided to postpone the closure of its last 8.5G LCD fab in Korea to the end of 2022, as the sharp increases in panel prices have helped the firm improve its profitability.

Besides, the parent company Samsung Electronics, which has enjoyed brisk TV sales due to strong end-market demand supporting stay-at-home activities, has also stepped up its purchases of panels from SDC amid tight panel supply, making it difficult for SDC to close its LCD lines, said the observers.

Samsung Electronics aims to ship 49 million TVs in 2021, the observers noted.