Hyundai Motor Co.’s EV manufacturing plant in Ulsan. [Courtesy of Hyundai Motor]
South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Co. has decided to fill 30 percent of the workforce at its new local plant being built for the first time in 29 years with young employees in their 20s and 30s. The move is aimed at slowing the aging of the manufacturing workforce and expanding opportunities for young production workers to acquire electric vehicle (EV)-related skills.
According to Hyundai Motor on Tuesday, the wage and collective bargaining agreement that has been approved by the union includes criteria for placements at the new plant. The criteria was recorded in separate minutes.
According to the minutes obtained by Maeil Business Newspaper, Hyundai Motor plans to apply appropriate age ratios when staffing the new EV plant in Ulsan, which will be completed in 2025.
In particular, the new workforce will involve 30 percent for those aged 39 or younger, 40 percent of those aged between 40 and 49, and 30 percent of those aged 50 or older.
In addition, senior employees who are less than two years away from retirement age at the time of mass production will not be eligible for the placement.
“In the past, senior employees were selected first if there were many applicants for redeployment because the placement was determined by years of service,” said a Hyundai Motor official. “By allocating workers by age group, we can solve the problem of age imbalance at the production site and provide more opportunities for the younger generation to acquire new technologies.”
The labor and management were able to agree on the experimental placement criteria as the new plant is not an existing production facility.
Older workers will not be resistant that much even if they are not assigned to the new plant because employees over the age of 50 at the old plant are guaranteed job security.
Besides the new plant, Hyundai Motor has decided to hire new production workers every year.
This year, for the first time in 10 years, the company has hired 400 new regular technicians and will hire 800 early next year and 300 in the year that follows.
These new hires are expected to acquire know-how at the EV production site, which will further improve the company’s manufacturing competitiveness.
For the union, the allocation of manpower by age has the benefit of gaining the support of young employees as union membership has been declining every year.
By Park So-ra and Choi Jieun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]