+ A

Hyundai, Kia unions agree to postpone strike plans

Aug 15,2019
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors labor unions have postponed planned collective action and resumed wage negotiations with management.

The unionized auto workers decided to put off the strike while the economy was under pressure from Tokyo’s restrictions on exports to Korea.

Hyundai Motor’s union announced Tuesday that it will resume wage talks with management until Aug. 20, as requested by the company. It said the agreement to continue negotiations was reached among union officials after discussing Japan’s economic retaliation against Korea.

“Our officials made many discussions as Japan removed Korea from its white list soon after we returned from summer vacation to start the strike,” the union said in a newsletter to its members Tuesday.

“The union strongly criticizes Japan’s economic retaliation against Korea, but we are firmly against others abusing that to limit or distort our lawful strike efforts.”

Kia Motors’ union also announced in a statement the same day that it has resumed talks with management over wages, adding that it has considered Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon’s request to talk and collaborate with management to minimize conflict.

The union said it will continue talks with management for the next two weeks while holding another meeting within the union on Aug. 26 to decide whether to continue with its strike effort.

Hyundai Motor’s labor union voted to strike for the eighth consecutive year two weeks ago after 16 rounds of wage negotiations held since May 30 failed to produce an agreement. Workers at Kia Motors also voted to strike late last month and were preparing to wage a collective strike effort along with Hyundai Motor,

Both unions earned the legal right to walk out at any moment as the National Labor Relations Commission ruled not to intervene.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]