Empty shipyard and suicides as ‘Hyundai Town’ grapples with grim future


ULSAN, South Korea (Reuters) – When Lee Dong-hee came to Ulsan to work for Hyundai Heavy Industries five years ago, shipyards in the city known as Hyundai Town operated day and night and workers could make triple South Korea’s annual average salary.

Giant cranes of Hyundai Heavy Industries are seen in Ulsan, South Korea, May 29, 2018. Picture taken on May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

But the 52-year-old was laid off in January, joining some 27,000 workers and subcontractors who lost their jobs at Hyundai Heavy (009540.KS) between 2015 and 2017 as ship orders plunged.

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