Hyundai contractors beg union to stop strike

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Hyundai contractors beg union to stop strike


An association of Hyundai Motor suppliers pleaded for the automaker’s labor union to halt its strikes on Monday, claiming the walkouts are threatening the bottom line of small auto parts makers.

“Although we work at different places, employees at the contracted suppliers are also manufacturers of cars,” Seo Jung-ho, head of Ajin Car In Tech, a member of the association, said at a news conference Monday, “but we are working with much worse conditions in terms of wages, welfare and more.”

This is first time that the association, which represents 330 contractors of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, collectively held a news conference.

“We desperately ask the union to stop staging strikes and come to terms in wage negotiations with Hyundai Motor while the factory is running in full operation,” Seo said.

The plead comes as Hyundai Motor’s labor union has been staging partial walkouts of two to three hours every day last week that have disrupted production. It has planned partial walkouts of three to four hours each day this week until Friday.

The union is asking for a base pay raise of 154,883 won ($142) and bonus payments totaling 30 percent of the automaker’s net profit from last year. Hyundai Motor has been refusing to do so, claiming poor performance last year.

“We’ve watched the union stage strikes for the past several years, and a sense of deprivation is beyond words,” Seo said. “If they roll out scheduled strikes this week, the second- and third-tier suppliers [subcontractors] will immediately have to shut down their factories.”

Hyundai Motor’s labor union has been staging partial walkouts in turns to maximize the number of hours that individuals work while causing the most disruption to the production process.

The union’s walkouts have interrupted the production of about 38,000 cars, resulting in a loss of 800 billion won, according to the company.

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

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