Hyundai workers stage partial strike for higher wages

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 7, 2017 - 13:16
  • Updated : Dec 7, 2017 - 13:16

Workers at Hyundai Motor Co. walked away from their production lines Thursday in the latest partial strike as they pressed for higher wages and bonuses, an official said.

The workers in the morning shift left their posts at 8:50 a.m. for three hours, while those in the evening shift plan to put down their tools between 5:40 and 21:00, according to the Hyundai official.

The strike prevented workers from making engines and transmissions. Hyundai said the production of cars was not affected by the latest strike.

The partial strike came a day after Hyundai Motor workers staged a strike for three hours at five plants in Ulsan, an industrial city located about 410 kilometers south of Seoul.

In this photo taken on July 13, 2017, unionized workers at Hyundai Motor`s Ulsan plants vow to go on strike if wage talks with the company breaks up. (Yonhap)

Hyundai Motor currently operates seven plants in Korea, including five in the port city of Ulsan. It also has production facilities in the United States, Europe and emerging countries such as China, India and Russia.

The union has demanded Hyundai raise workers' basic monthly wages by 154,883 won and offer a bonus of 30 percent of the company's 2016 full-year net profit of 5.72 trillion won.

Still, the company offered to raise basic salaries by 42,879 won per month and to provide bonuses worth 200 percent of basic pay plus 1 million won, citing an unfriendly business environment.

When the offer was rejected by the union, the company suggested bonuses of 250 percent of basic pay plus 1.5 million won in extra compensation as a revised offer.

Hyundai workers have staged strikes 10 times this year that prevented Hyundai from producing 43,000 cars, costing the carmaker 890 billion won ($815 million) in lost production, according to the company official.

Labor strikes have plagued the country's biggest carmaker for decades. Its workers have walked out every year since 1986 except for in 1994, 2009, 2010 and 2011. (Yonhap)