Renault Samsung union calls off strike amid hardline action

2019.06.12 14:45:55 | 2019.06.12 16:22:13

[Photo by Renault Samsung Motors Corp.]이미지 확대

[Photo by Renault Samsung Motors Corp.]

The union leadership of Renault Samsung Motors withdrew its “indefinite strike” scheme Wednesday and agreed to work out the wage differences through dialogue in the face of slow participation from factory workers and the management’s threat to take legal action on top of a partial lockout at the Busan plant.

The move comes amid escalating complaints of fatigue from the year-long labor dispute coupled with hard-line actions from the management.

The Korean unit of the French automaker Renault S.A. announced night shifts at its main plant in Busan would be suspended from Wednesday, citing concerns of production disruptions resulting from the full-out strikes launched last week.

But the company called off the lockout plan after the union offered to renew negotiations without resorting to a strike.

The automaker has 1,800 factory workers, with half working day shifts and the other on the night shifts. The union leaders called for an indefinite strike last Wednesday when the union voted down the tentative agreement on wages and work terms reached with management. Although more than 60 percent of the union members refused to join the strikes, production still fell below 20 percent of normal levels.

The union has staged 60 partial strikes since June 2018 in an effort to gain an upper hand in collective bargaining talks with the management. Due to the strikes, the company’s total output in the January-March period dropped 40 percent compared to a year earlier. The frequent labor disputes led its parent company to nearly halve the orders for Nissan Rogue, a mainstay of the Busan plant responsible for nearly half of its annual turnout. Renault also decided not to extend its contract for the sport utility vehicle once it expires in September.

By Lee Jong-hyuk and Kim Hyo-jin

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