[EDITORIALS]Union could ruin HyundaiThe conflict taking place at Hyundai Motor between labor and management over their year-end bonus is becoming an extreme confrontation. Hyundai Motor’s labor union has not only refused overtime work and special work hours, but yesterday about 1,000 union workers came to Seoul and held a demonstration. The labor union also said they would strike next week if the company did not provide extra bonus money by today. Regarding these events, the management’s position is not to submit to any unjust requests made by the labor union. In the end, if this opposition becomes intensified, strikes will take place on production lines beginning next week and major losses will occur as a result.
An official from Hyundai Motor’s labor union said the company may have profited because it didn’t give a bonus to its workers, but warned that the losses the company would experience from the upcoming strike would amount to dozens or hundreds of times more in losses.
What does this mean? We don’t know the details of the agreement between Hyundai Motor’s labor and management regarding the payment of bonuses. Therefore we are not at a position to say who is wrong or who is right. However, the definite thing is that there are differences of opinion between labor and management. The problem is: Why do the methods for achieving the solution to the differences of opinion have to be so extreme and include strikes and demonstrations, which are close to threats?
If there are differences in opinion, labor and management should put their heads together and try to find a solution. If reaching an agreement is so difficult, they can at least find a peaceful, legal way to reconcile. What is the union trying to achieve by inciting violence at the company’s new year ceremony and tearing the event apart? Not to mention they are giving a black name to their own company by throwing themselves into large-scale demonstrations and strikes.
Hyundai Motor is not just a company of its owner, or of its labor union. It is one of the few global companies in Korea. It is the working place of not just the current labor union, but the working place of generations to come. That is why we are worried. We are worried that that the labor union may destroy the company because they are seeking immediate small profits. If the company is destroyed because they impose losses that are hundreds of times the scale of their bonuses, there will be no bonuses. Nor any jobs for that matter.