Published : 2013-08-15 20:17
Updated : 2013-08-15 20:17
The head of Hyundai Motor Co. has pledged to make utmost efforts to conclude a wage deal by quickly resuming negotiations with the union.
“We will offer compensation that is commensurate with performance,” Hyundai Motor President Yoon Gap-han said in a message sent to 46,000 union members on Wednesday.
Still, he lashed out at the union’s attempt to resolve the wage dispute through a strike, calling it an old-fashioned practice.
The message came as the union said more than 70 percent of its members authorized a strike.
The union workers can walk off the job anytime starting Aug.20, a day after the mediation by the state-run National Labor Relations Commission is set to end.
The carmaker has proposed resuming negotiations with the union on Friday, though there has been no word yet from the union if it will accept the offer.
The union demanded, among other things, a hike of 130,498 won ($117) in basic salaries and an extension of the retirement age to 61, as well as a bonus equal to 30 percent of the company’s net profit. Last year, the carmaker posted a net profit of 9 trillion won.
Yoon said some of the demands are excessive and the company cannot accept them, though he did not elaborate.
“Now, we need to make drastic changes,” Yoon said, referring to previous strikes that have plagued Hyundai for decades.
Hyundai’s unionized workers have downed tools every year due to wage disputes since 1986, except in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Last year, Hyundai Motor’s union workers staged a 13-day strike, preventing 82,000 vehicles from being produced, which cost the carmaker some 1.7 trillion won in lost production. (Yonhap News)