Jinro, South Korea's leading distiller of traditional liquor 'soju', could face strike action next month. Union members at the company will vote shortly on whether to launch industrial action.

The union made the announcement following the collapse of talks with Jinro's management. The two sides have held 13 rounds of negotiations regarding a 12% wage rise, the adoption of a five-day working week and job security.

Jinro has been in court receivership since May last year, with debts amounting to KRW2.37 trillion (US$1.98 bln). The company ran into trouble after branching out into new business areas such as construction, finance, retail and machinery before the country's 1997-98 financial crisis. Earlier this year, Chang Jin-ho, who chaired the company from 1988 to 1997, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for accounting fraud.