Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Korean Car Workers Strike

 GM workers have been staging two, four-hour strikes daily since Oct. 30 as they demand an end to a wage freeze put in place after the 2018 deal that saved the Korean operations from bankruptcy.

General Motors has issued its strongest warning yet that persistent industrial unrest eventually could drive it out of South Korea.

GM builds as many as 500,000 vehicles a year in South Korea, shipping many to the United States including the popular Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV. The automaker employs about 12,000 people in the country. GM management wants a two-year labor deal instead of the usual one-year agreement, and have offered union members a signing bonus of 8 million won ($7,230) each for 2020 and 2021.

The union, however, wants to stick to a one-year deal and yearly performance bonus of 22 million won each, as well as continued operation at both plants in Bupyeong.

“We are not only striking over wage issues, but also over job security at our No. 2 plant in Bupyeong, which hires about 1,200 workers,” union official Jung Jai-heon said.

Some current and former subcontract workers are also demanding to be hired as full-time staff with the same pay and benefits.

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