The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor labor union to appeal against controversial wage ruling

By KH디지털2

Published : Jan. 21, 2015 - 18:20

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Hyundai Motor Co.'s labor union said Wednesday it will appeal against a recent court ruling unfavorable to the automaker's employees that said the company should include bonuses as ordinary wages for some workers.

Last week, the Seoul Central District Court ordered Hyundai Motor, the country's top automaker, to count regular bonuses as part of ordinary salaries only for some employees and to pay three years of outstanding bonuses retroactively.

The ruling was mostly in favor of the automaker as the court said the union workers' demand is only applicable to two of the 23 plaintiffs, reducing the automaker's financial burden to an estimated 11 billion won ($10.2 million) from the trillions it might have had to pay.   

Ordinary wage refers to a fixed amount of money paid on a regular basis to an employee. The number is used to calculate other stipends including overtime pay, paid annual leave and severance pay.

"We've reached a final decision (to appeal against the court decision)," said Hwang Gi-tae, a communications official of the labor union, adding that no further internal talks among the union members are necessary to go ahead with the appeal.

According to the ruling, the majority of Hyundai Motor's workers are not entitled to receive regular bonuses as part of ordinary salaries. When the court ruling is applied, only 8.7 percent of the company's unionized employees are entitled to increased ordinary salaries, Hyundai Motor estimated.

Earlier in 2013, some union members filed a suit against the company demanding that bonuses, transportation and vacation stipends should be part of their ordinary wage and that the guideline should take effect for three years.

Controversy over the ordinary pay issue first emerged in late 2013 when the Supreme Court ruled that bonuses that are given on a regular and periodic basis should be regarded as part of the workers' ordinary salaries. (Yonhap)