Renault Samsung Motors is offering buyouts

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Renault Samsung Motors is offering buyouts

Renault Samsung Motors started accepting voluntary retirements from Thursday, the company confirmed Friday.

According to a notice released Thursday, the company plans to take applications for retirement for three weeks from Friday through Sept. 27. The notice applies to workers at the company’s Busan factory, its only manufacturing facility.

Under the “new start program,” the company will offer financial support for those accepting the offer.

Employees will receive a maximum of about 36 months of compensation for accepting the buyout, with some departing by Oct. 31 and the others by the end of the year.

If applicants to the new start program have children attending college or due to attend college, the company will also give 5 million won ($4,186) in support for tuition per child.

Industry insiders say the company expects to reduce head count by about 400 through the process, though a company spokesperson said no number has been set. They say, the process will be based purely on voluntary decisions by workers. The number of production workers at Renault’s Busan factory is roughly 1,800 currently.

“We are considering downsizing, but this program is a means to support workers willing to start over, like its name,” the spokesperson said. “As for further downsizing, we will need to discuss the matter with the labor side.”

The labor union, however, said it will take strong action against the company’s decision to start laying off staff.

The company has been preparing for a human resources overhaul largely due to falling production at the factory in Busan. According to data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association, Renault Samsung Motors produced 98,800 cars this year through July, a 29.1 percent drop year-on-year.

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