Just as the chief of the South Korean unit warned in a letter to his employees, the workers at GM’s Asian division have decided to call a strike after the negotiations between the union and management have dragged for months.
GM Korea’s workers union started wage and production volume talks with the executives of the company in April, but they failed to reach any agreement so far, with the workers now voting in favor of a walk out – a signal for all automakers in the country to expect hard bargains during the annual salary negotiations.
This is no surprise though, even as all carmakers have been facing increased troubles due to the country’s currency appreciation, which has eaten into the profits made by exporting cars. In South Korea, wage strikes are nothing out of the ordinary, but the workers have decided this year to address a 60-year-old wage system among others, which could lead to lingering unrest.
“Both sides remain committed to reaching a fair and reasonable labor agreement based on mutual trust and understanding,” said a spokesman for GM Korea.
On the other hand, a union spokesperson announced that of GM Korea’s 14,016 employees, no less than 69% voted to begin a strike if no deal is reached in a timely manner.