The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor to go on partial strike over ordinary wages this week

By (공용)코리아헤럴드

Published : Aug. 21, 2014 - 21:32

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 Unionized workers at South Korea's top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday that they will hold a partial walkout before this weekend after negotiations with the management stalled on whether to count regular bonuses towards ordinary wages.

   The labor union said it plans to wage a four-hour strike from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 10:10 p.m. to 12:10 a.m. on Friday, adding it has also decided to refuse to work overtime this weekend.

   "The management did not accept the union's proposals including ordinary wages," a union official said. "We have no choice but to go on strike because of no alternatives to persuade union members."

   On June 13, the union and management started their wage talks, but failed to bridge their gap on issues to count regular bonuses as part of ordinary wages, a key issue in labor disputes across industries this year.

   The strike was passed with 70 percent of all 47,262 union members voting for it on Aug. 14.

   The Supreme Court had ruled in December last year that bonuses paid on a regular basis should be included in ordinary wages.

   The ordinary wages are used as the basis for setting allowances such as overtime pay, holiday shift pay and paid annual leave, as well as pension, according to the law.

   The workers also called for an 8.16 percent raise in basic pay or 159,614 won (US$156) and extending the retirement age by two years to 60 without any conditions attached, among other things.

   "It is very unfortunate as the decision to strike by the union was inappropriate," a company official said, voicing concerns that the strike may hurt the company's earnings.

   In contrast with Hyundai Motor, Ssangyong Motor Co., the local unit of Indian sport utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra, and GM Korea Co., the local unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Co., successfully struck wage deals last month.

   They accepted the demand by union workers to include regular bonuses in their ordinary wages. (Yonhap)