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Renault Samsung’s retirement applicants short of expectations

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Published : 2014-04-25 20:54
Updated : 2014-04-25 20:54

Renault Samsung Motors said Friday the number of workers opting for early retirement fell short of expectations, despite management extending the application window by two weeks.

The company initiated the “New Start” retirement program for senior assembly line workers from March 10 through April 11, but when only about 20 people applied, it expanded the program to other veteran assembly line workers.

“With applications to be concluded today and with numbers falling short of the mark, management plans to reassign those who were eligible for early retirement to other positions within the company,” a source at the local unit of French automaker Renault S.A. said.

He said such measures are necessary because there are not enough top positions available at present, especially with the carmaker pushing forward ways to improve its overall competitiveness.

In the past, the company automatically promoted front-line production workers after 20 years on the production line and gave them desk jobs.

The company estimated that another automatic promotions this year would put the percentage of senior-ranking workers not engaged in actual production at 33 percent of the 2,100 workers assigned to the assembly line and maintenance positions at its main Busan plant.

Such developments would hurt the company’s competitiveness in the market, especially since the carmaker’s production line workers have been cited for having one of the highest wages within the Renault Nissan Alliance.

The company’s union argue that reassigning senior workers to different positions is an arbitrary move to penalize those whom the company wanted to expel with its retirement program.

Besides the early retirement program, the carmaker’s union said it has forwarded a proposal calling for a basic monthly pay increase of 119,700 won ($115) for all employees, a 200 percent bonus and pledge by management to hold on to existing workers. It was not immediately known what the demanded wage hike means in percentage. (Yonhap)

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