Hyundai inks pay deal sans strike

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Hyundai inks pay deal sans strike

The labor union of Hyundai Motor, the nation’s biggest carmaker, reached a tentative agreement with management on a wage deal, according to union officials yesterday. It is the second time in two years the automaker reached a labor-management deal without a strike.

Hyundai Motor unionists and management agreed to the deal late Wednesday in Ulsan, where the company’s largest plant is located, and it includes a 79,000 won ($66) hike in next year’s basic pay and a bonus equaling 300 percent of a worker’s monthly wage plus 2 million won. The contract includes other incentives such as payments of up to 2 million won for employees who boost sales, and 1 million won for those who make suggestions that improve quality, and also 30 Hyundai Motor shares for each worker.

With this agreement, each of the 45,000 union members of the automaker is expected to receive an additional 16 million won in pay next year. “There were some issues between the union and management,” said Lee Kyung-hoon, leader of the union group, adding that despite disagreements, the two sides managed to narrow their differences.

“Holding a strike is the labor union’s weapon but it should be the last resort,” Lee noted in the union’s newsletter. Lee, who was elected last year, is known to be more moderate than his predecessors. The group is expected to vote on the deal today.

Meanwhile, Kia Motor, the nation’s second carmaker (and owned by the same group), failed to reach an agreement. At Kia, conflict between labor and management is mounting on issues involving wages and working conditions, including a time-off system that limits the number and salaries of full-time trade union workers.


By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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