Hyundai Motor union rejects tentative deal

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Hyundai Motor union rejects tentative deal

Hyundai Motor’s labor union rejected a tentative wage deal reached between its leaders and the company, signaling yet another round of negotiations and walkouts.

“The tentative wage deal has been rejected with 78 percent of the opposition vote,” Hyundai Motor said Saturday.

After numerous walkouts that reportedly resulted in a production loss of 1.5 trillion won ($1.34 billion) for the company, Hyundai Motor and its unions tentatively reached a deal Wednesday to raise the monthly base wage by 58,000 won and give each employee 10 shares. The union didn’t accept the company’s suggestion to expand the current wage peak system.

However, 78 percent of the 45,777 workers voted against a deal Friday, the highest rate of opposition since the labor union’s founding in 1987.

The biggest factor was a decrease in raises. Last year, the country’s top automaker increased workers’ monthly pay by 85,000 won and gave each employee 20 Hyundai Motor shares.

“The younger demographic of the workers were not satisfied by the amount of wage raise the tentative deal suggested,” said a Hyundai Motor labor union spokesperson. “We thought maintaining the current wage peak system was more important than expanding the base payment. However, it turned out that majority of the workers did not think so.”

The wage peak system at Hyundai Motor currently cuts wages 10 percent for employees who are 60 years old, the standard retirement age. However the company has proposed to expand wage cuts to 59-year-old employees.

“The overwhelming rate of opposition votes [feels like a beating] to us, the committee,” said Park Yoo-ki, chairman of the labor union Monday.

“We have pulled off probably the fiercest strike this year, but the tentative deal couldn’t live up to the union members’ expectation and have scratched their pride. ”

Park said the union will soon announce new negotiations and strikes.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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