3 strikes and you’re out?The labor union of Hyundai Motor is poised to launch yet another strike with unreasonable demands. If the labor union members agree to strike in the upcoming vote, this will begin its third strike this year.
Now the labor union, with no concern about the rising won and increasingly cutthroat global competition, is pushing itself toward yet another strike in order to make a small immediate gain.
What’s worse, the demand from the labor union may seriously overstep management territory beyond the normal scope of management-labor negotiations. In the proposal made by the labor union, management is required to discuss how many new products will be manufactured in each production plant, which practically means the company needs to get approval from the labor union. Producing an optimal volume of cars in a fruitful production environment is under the realm of management and should not be subject to the labor union’s approval.
The labor union’s proposal also includes a clause to require the company to bring back planned production volume to the plants when there is not enough workload in domestic plants because of the overseas-based factories. It means the company has to produce cars whose production base was relocated overseas because of rising production costs at home.
These are completely ridiculous demands that make no sense at all. The labor union, before making such demands, needs to think first about why the production base had to be relocated abroad. They forced the company to move its production base overseas because of high wages and frequent strikes. How can they ask the company to bring the factories back here?
What’s more, the labor union is saying the management should be banned from bringing cars and car parts manufactured in overseas plants into Korea, and moreover, it should get the labor union’s agreement when exporting cars made in an overseas plant to other countries. Now this does not look like the labor union is trying to improve labor-management talks, but is trying to control all of management.
Hyundai Motor’s union said the foremost goal of the latest negotiation is stable employment. But the union will not achieve this goal if it continues making such overreaching demands. The path to stable employment can be guaranteed only when the labor union lets go some of its power and tries to improve its own competitiveness.