GM Korea union approves wage deal

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GM Korea union approves wage deal

General Motors’ Korean workers have approved an annual wage deal, ending 13 days of partial strikes at the base where the U.S. automaker produces more than 40 percent of its Chevy-branded cars, a union spokesman said yesterday.

A total of 54.3 percent of union voters approved the pact, which includes bonuses of 10 million won ($9,000) and a promise of no layoffs, union spokesman Choi Jong-hak said.

The union’s leadership had earlier raised concerns that GM could reduce its footprint in Korea, a key Asian manufacturing base and engineering-design hub for its mini and small cars like the Spark.

GM said late year that it will not produce the next-generation Cruze compact in Korea, sparking union jitters about a potential restructuring that could threaten their jobs.

GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson and other GM executives complained that an ongoing wage fight would make it even more expensive to produce cars in Korea.

GM Korea’s labor union, which is seen by the management as the most uncooperative among its overseas peers, staged partial strikes for 124 hours from July 4 to July 23, after its worst walkout in a decade last year that led to a production loss of 40,000 vehicles.

A GM Korea spokesman declined to disclose how many cars were affected by the latest disputes and declined to comment directly on the new wage agreement.


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