Workers at South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries will stage a symbolic overtime walkout on Thursday, a union spokesman said as the world's largest shipbuilder moves closer to its first full-fledged strike in 18 years.
Kim Hyeong-Gyun said wider industrial action could take place as early as next week after talks over a long-running wage dispute collapsed last Wednesday.
"On Thursday, we will refuse to work after the regular eight-to-five business hours," he told AFP, adding that workers usually put in one hour of overtime everyday.
"Unless our demands are met, we will launch intensive struggles next week, possibly including an all-out strike," Kim added.
Workers overwhelmingly backed a motion to strike last month after marathon pay negotiations with management broke down.
Union demands include a 6.5 percent rise in basic pay and a one-off bonus equal to 10 weeks' wages.
But the company argues that this is too much at a time when the shipbuilder is already facing mounting losses due to the global economic slowdown and competition from Chinese rivals.
Hyundai Heavy Industries posted a 1.9 trillion won ($1.7 billion) operating loss in the three months to September, compared to a 1.1 trillion won deficit the previous quarter.
The company has estimated that an all-out strike would cost the company more that $90 million in production losses.
Hyundai Heavy Industries made no immediate comment on the strike threat on Tuesday.