For fifth year, Hyundai Motor union votes to strikeHyundai Motor’s labor union voted to strike for a fifth straight year after earning the approval of 85.5 percent of the voters. The vote was disclosed at 12 a.m. Thursday.
Though the union still needs to earn approval from the National Labor Relations Commission, it already has announced an aggressive strike plan for July 19 through 22.
The schedule begins a day earlier than industry insiders’ speculations that the union would follow the schedule of the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions, which will strike on July 20.
According to the automaker’s labor union, 37,358 of 48,000 members voted for a walkout, with 43,700 members participating in the election.
The voting followed 14 rounds of wage negotiations since May 17.
The labor union had asked the company for raises of 7.2 percent or 152,050 won in base pay along with a 30 percent bonus of last year’s net profit. Besides wage increases, the union had also asked the company to grant employees a right to veto promotions and to reinstate a number of fired workers.
The country’s largest automaker, which is already battling a slowdown in sales in its major markets, had different demands.
“The company asked for a 10 percent wage cut for workers aged 58 and 59 and a wage freeze for workers aged 60,” said a public relations director from the labor union. “This led us to vote for a strike and now that the voting is finished, our moves will begin in step with the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions’ Ulsan headquarters.”
Hyundai Heavy Industries started voting on Wednesday on whether to strike. The vote will continue through 1 p.m. today. If a majority of the workers vote for a walkout, the shipbuilder’s union will also join Hyundai Motor and the bigger labor group.
While union members and the shipbuilder came to the negotiation table 18 times since May 10, they failed to reach consensus on a number of items. The labor union had been asking for a right to recommend an outside board director, to terminate the performance-based payment system and a raise of 96,712 won in base pay.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]