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GM Korea puts off investment in Bupyeong plant due to wage strike

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
GM Korea said Friday it would put off a plan to invest in its Bupyeong plant, which was scheduled for the production of next-generation global products, as workers’ strike continued. 

GM Korea offered to invest about 215 billion won ($190 million) in its first plant in Bupyeong, which produces Chevrolet Trailblazer, during the 19th round of negotiations held last month.

The automaker said it has already suffered a serious cash liquidity crisis due to production losses of more than 60,000 units due to COVID-19 in the first half of this year, and has taken strong cost-cutting measures to secure liquidity.

“GM Korea suffered an additional production loss of more than 7,000 units due to the labor union’s refusal to work overtime and partial strikes. The company’s liquidity situation is getting worse as the decision to engage in additional disputes is expected to result in a cumulative production loss of 12,000 units,” the official said.

On Thursday, GM Korea’s labor union decided to stage another three-day partial strike against the management over wage and collective agreement negotiations. They also decided to continue to refuse to work overtime, as they have since April 23.

The Korea Development Bank -- the second largest shareholder of GM Korea -- publicly expressed concern over the automaker’s labor-management conflict on Friday. 

In a press release, the KDB said, “We express serious concern about the possibility of production disruption caused by recent disputes such as partial strikes.”
“GM Korea is currently in the midst of a very important time to lay the foundation for normalization of its management, including expanding exports mainly to the U.S., producing the Chevrolet Trailblazer and developing additional new cars.”

The KDB urged both labor and management to make concessions to resolve management uncertainty and work together to implement GM Korea’s management normalization.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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