Hyundai Motor union refrains from going into strike in light of trade woes

2019.08.14 14:51:18

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The union of Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor Co. won’t likely resort to striking this year as the economy faces multiple whammies on the external front – waning demand from protracted trade war between the U.S. and China and Korea’s own trade spat with Japan.

The automaker’s union and management on Wednesday resumed this year’s wage negotiations after a month-long standoff due to differences in wage terms for next year. They will continue talks until next Tuesday. The union warned it will resist working holiday shifts and overtime on weekends starting Aug. 24 if they see no improvement in negotiations.

The union has demanded 123,526 won ($101.62) hike in base salary and 30 percent of net profit doled out to workers as bonus. It also wants bonus to be counted as base salary and push back retirement age to 64. Bargaining came to a halt on July 19.

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Striking has been an annual summer event for the union, one of the most powerful in nation. But it will continue negotiation instead of restoring to collective action this year in light of strong challenges that the country face with Japan’s restriction on exports to Korea. It, however, reminded “the management should not abuse the latest events to restrict its lawful protests.”

The unionized workers of the automaker planned entering a strike from this week after 70.54 percent of the union voted for a walkout at last month’s meeting.

By Lee Jong-hyuk and Cho Jeehyun

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