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Hyundai union set to restart strike over wages

Jan 04,2018
Union workers at Hyundai Motor will resume strikes this week for higher salaries and bonuses in a wage deal that failed to be finalized last year, the union said Wednesday.

Hyundai’s 51,000-member union will walk out for eight to 12 hours a day over the next four working days in a move to press the company to come up with an “improved” wage package, the union said in a statement.

“If the company does not offer an additional increase in wages, the union will have no other option but to stage a prolonged strike this year,” Hyundai’s union leader Ha Bu-young said in the statement.

In its latest offer, the company said it would raise workers’ basic monthly salary by 58,000 won ($53) and provide bonuses worth 300 percent of basic pay plus 3 million won in extra compensation.

But it was rejected by the union in a vote last month. Workers were not satisfied with the wage and bonus levels presented by the company.

Last year, 19 rounds of industrial action by Hyundai workers cost the company around 1.4 trillion won, or 69,000 vehicles, in production losses.

Labor strikes have plagued the carmaker for decades. Its workers have walked out every year since 1986 except for 1994, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Strikes had an impact on the carmaker’s sales last year amid spreading protectionism and slowing demand growth in major auto markets. In 2017, Hyundai sold 4.5 million vehicles, down from 4.8 million a year earlier.