New GM Korea head to meet with labor union

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Aug 22, 2017 - 19:28
  • Updated : Aug 22, 2017 - 19:28

Kaher Kazem, the newly appointed CEO of GM Korea, met with unionized workers of the company ahead of his inauguration next week, the company said Tuesday.

At the meeting, the new local head is expected to ask the labor union for cooperation in improving the company’s competitiveness.

Kazem will head GM India until the end of this month. He will begin his post as the new CEO of the Korean unit on Sept. 1, following James Kim.

“The new CEO is currently going back and forth between India and Korea to hand over the local unit before he takes office,” said a spokesperson of GM Korea.

As for further details of the meeting, GM Korea declined to comment.

“We will continue to push for wage negotiations and ask for his thoughts on major issues concerning workers, such as the upcoming expiration of provisions of an agreement between GM and Korea Development Bank,” said an official of the labor union.

The state-run Korea Development Bank, the second-biggest shareholder of GM Korea with a 17.02 percent stake, said in a report sent to the Bareun Party that it would not be able to stop GM Korea from pulling out of the country if it decides to do so.

GM Korea’s labor union went on a four hourlong partial strike last week, amid mounting speculations over GM’s withdrawal from Korea as part of its global restructuring efforts to focus on the US and China,

The union official added that employees are worried, as Kazem headed the exit of GM India earlier this year, which led to the layoff of some 400 employees there.

GM Korea has been suffering a sales decline, selling a total 278,998 units between January and June this year, down 9.3 percent on-year, company data showed.

In the cited period, sales in the local market dropped 16.2 percent on-year to 72,708 units, while exports dipped 6.5 percent. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (