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GM Korea’s union to stage all-out protest next week

Unionized workers at GM Korea said Friday they have decided to stage a full-time walkout for three days next week in protest against the rejection of their demands during wage negotiations with the management.

This is the first time GM Korea workers will stage all-out protests, after the US carmaker acquired now-defunct Daewoo Motor in 2002.

The union said it has 8,000 members from GM Korea and also 2,000 workers at GM Technical Center Korea. GM Korea currently has around 13,000 employees.

GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem (GM Korea)
GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem (GM Korea)

Leaders of the union plan to block the entrance at GM Korea’s plant in Bupyeong, Incheon, and halt operations. The decision was made as the management rejected the union’s demand of raising 5.8 percent of basic salary and 250 percent of ordinary wage as performance-based bonus. But they could withdraw the plan of staging a sit-in protest if the company makes an alternative proposal, the union added.

The company, meanwhile, expressed regrets over the decision, urging the union to keep its promise of freezing wages to normalize its operations.

According to a spokesperson, the company could consider raising salaries once it reaches a break-even point, although it is unlikely this year. The union and management had reached an agreement last year on freezing wages until its operations are normalized.

GM Korea saw accumulated debt of 4 trillion won ($3.35 billion) between 2014 and 2018. It posted 859 billion won operating loss last year.

By Cho Chung-un (