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Renault Samsung halts Busan plant operation for 3 days

Amid ongoing labor disputes, the management of Renault Samsung has decided to suspend operations at its plant in the southeastern port city of Busan for three days starting Monday.

It is the first time operations of the Busan plant have been temporarily suspended by the management, not by unionized workers who have staged partial strikes for months. 

Renault Samsung's Busan plant
Renault Samsung's Busan plant

The move is widely viewed as an attempt by the management to realign its strategy before reengaging in labor negotiations. The two sides have locked horns over wages and increased work hours. 

Workers have demanded the company lower labor intensity and raise wages, but the management has refused. They have reportedly been seeking a middle ground, though differences remain on key issues, stoking fears the confrontation will further disrupt operations of the plant and its suppliers.

The company has urged for a compromise, stressing that the plant may lose a chance to manufacture new models next year. Renault Samsung has already lost 40 percent of orders from Nissan for production of the Rogue, which has been manufactured at the Busan plant on a consignment basis. 

By Cho Chung-un (