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GM Korea takes steps to ease downsizing concerns

Union workers at GM Korea Co.’s regional plant said Monday that they were told the management will not insist on introducing a single work shift, a measure that eases fears of downsizing among employees.

The carmaker is the South Korean unit of U.S. auto giant General Motors Co. which had announced late last year that it would not be selling Chevrolet-branded cars in Europe from 2016 onward. The decision instantly raised speculation that the automaker would start layoffs in Korea, a major production center for Chevrolet vehicles for GM.

The GM branch of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union said it received “assurances” from the management over the weekend that the company will look favorably on maintaining the current double shift production line at the Gunsan assembly line, located 274 kilometers south of Seoul.

At present, the plant’s utilization rate has fallen to about 60 percent of its annual 235,800 unit capacity. The total can be reached if two eight-hour shifts are maintained, including some overtime work by employees.

Unionists and management engaged in talks over the weekend to discuss future production plans for the plant that hires some 2,100 employees. (Yonhap)
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