Hyundai Motor Pay talks fail; Strike Continues

The 14th round of wage negotiations between Hyundai Motor and its labor union held Thursday failed, and a strike by workers will continue.

Management and the union had hoped to settle the labor dispute before the approaching holiday season, which begins next month.

The negotiation, which began at 2 p.m. at the auto company’s Ulsan headquarters, was attended by Hyundai Motor President Yoon Gap-han and labor union leader Park Yoo-ki. After a couple of hours, talks broke down.

The union had been asking for responses to demands including a 7.2 percent or 152,050 won ($133) raise in workers’ base pay, bonuses equal to 30 percent of last year’s net profit and a right to veto promotions.

The company rejected those demands and demanded implementation of the so-called peak-wage system on a wider range of workers. The system would freeze wages of workers aged 59 and cut wages 10 percent for those 60 or older. In return, workers would be able to work for more years before being retired than previously.

The union went on with its planned strike scheduled for Thursday. About 13,000 workers on the night shift halted work for four hours from 8:20 p.m., in conjunction with a protest in front of the automaker’s Ulsan headquarters.

The company estimates four hours of halted operations affects production of 17,000 cars resulting in a roughly 39 billion won loss for the company per day. Three days of strikes could amount to 117 billion won in losses, though the union called those estimates “excessive.”

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