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GM Korea union OKs 2nd tentative wage deal

GM Korea's Bupyeong plant in Incheon, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
GM Korea's Bupyeong plant in Incheon, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
GM Korea Co. and its union have reached a second tentative wage deal after union members rejected the first deal early this month, the company said Friday.

In a vote held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, GM Korea workers turned down the first tentative wage agreement as they were not satisfied with the company's proposals on wages and collective agreement terms.

Under the initial agreement, GM Korea offered to provide 4 million won ($3,600) per worker in performance-based pay and bonuses for the year of 2020 instead of freezing basic salary.

In the second deal, GM Korea agreed to drop a damages suit filed against the union for strike-driven output losses and pay the performance-based pay and the bonuses within this year, a company spokesman said over the phone.

The company and the union have had 26 rounds of negotiations since July and the union members staged several rounds of partial strikes starting Oct. 30, demanding an end to a wage freeze and a new vehicle production plan at the plant.

The South Korean unit of General Motors Co. said it will maintain production of the Trax compact SUV and the Malibu midsize sedan, currently being assembled at the No. 2 Bupyeong plant, west of Seoul, as long as possible.

Partial strikes cost GM Korea about 25,000 vehicles in lost production. The company already suffered production losses of 60,000 vehicles in the first half due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Detroit carmaker has three Korean plants -- two in Bupyeong and one in Changwon -- whose combined output capacity reaches 630,000 units a year.

Union workers are expected to vote on whether to accept the second deal next week.

GM owns a 67 percent stake in GM Korea, and the state-run Korea Development Bank holds a 17 percent stake in the Korean unit. (Yonhap)
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