SsangYong welcomes back former employees

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SsangYong welcomes back former employees

SsangYong Motor, a Korean unit of Indian auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra, announced Thursday a plan to rehire former employees in line with an agreement the company made in 2015 to hire back workers in stages over time.

In a press release, the local automaker said the company and its labor unions came to an agreement to hire about 60 workers to prepare for production of the G4 Rexton, a sports utility vehicle that SssangYong unveiled at this year’s Seoul Motor Show.

“Among 60 new hires, some will be those who left the company voluntarily and some will be those who were fired,” said a spokesperson of SsangYong.

SsangYong faced a severe financial crunch and filed for court receivership in 2009. In an effort to survive, the company dismissed about 2,600 workers, which included 1,900 employees who left through “voluntary resignations” while 454 workers went on unpaid leaves. 179 workers that opposed the restructuring were fired.

Indian automaker Mahindra eventually bought a majority stake in SsangYong and rescued the company from total collapse in 2011.

Following a slew of lawsuits, the company and two unions of the company - the Ssangyong Workers’ Union and the Korean Metal Workers’ Union - reconciled and agreed to a re-hiring plan in 2015. According to the plan, 60 percent of future hires would be former employees while 40 percent would be new recruits.

This is the third batch of former employees to be rehired by SsangYong. The company initially brought back 454 workers from unpaid leaves in March 2013 and hired 40 additional workers in February last year to keep up with the rising production of its compact SUV Tivoli.

“With the launch of the G4 Rexton, we will continue to hire back our former employees in stages as we further increase the volume of output,” said Choi Johng-sik, CEO of SsangYong during a press briefing at the Seoul Motor Show on March 30.

The spokesperson of the company added that it will decide on the size and appropriate timing of re-hiring in accordance with demand for the new Rexton.

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