Renault Samsung’s labor union decides not to go under hard-line umbrella labor group

2020.09.11 11:09:28 | 2020.09.11 12:21:18

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The largest representative union of Renault Samsung Motors Co. decided against going under the militant Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).

About 60.7 percent from its 1,983 unionized members voted to join the Korea Metal Workers’ Union under KCTU, while 39 percent disapproved, the house union said Thursday. The vote missed the necessary two-thirds to join the umbrella group.

Workers at the Busan-based unit of French auto giant Renault S.A. have five house unions. The largest one that was launched in December 2018 has rounded up near-2,000 members and campaigned to go under the metal union, one of the most powerful and largest unions commanding factory workers in the KCTU umbrella in Korea.

Unions usually follow the orders on general strike and other collective action from higher union group.

Earlier this year, Renault Samsung’s unionized workers attempted to vote on the same agenda to join the bigger union group, but they backed away from the plan, citing “the gravity of the emergency situation caused by the (COVID-19) outbreak.”

But the unionized workers renewed the process to join the bigger union group after they have failed to reach an agreement with the management over wage negotiations.

Industry observers expect the latest vote result would help Renault Samsung Motors win production of XM3 for export to Europe, which is a must to offset the discontinuation of the Rogue production at its Busan factory. Its parent company has been hesitant to allocate XM3 export production to the Korean unit, citing the repeated strikes over wage negotiations since last year despite plunging sales.

Renault Samsung Motors’ management and union have failed to settle collective bargaining terms for next year in five rounds of negotiation until last week.

By Pulse

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