General Motors has managed to avoid a worker strike in South Korea as its unionized employees voted positively towards a salary agreement on Thursday, which dropped the peril of a strike for a second straight year.
This is quite an achievement considering the fact that South Korea is a country with a renowned industrial action-prone automotive sector. According to a union representative, 55 percent of the workforce voted in favor of an initial deal that was approved on Monday, with GM Korea ready to lift the basic monthly wage by 83,000 won ($71) and also give each worker a total of 10.5 million won in bonuses and incentives. The agreement also includes a pledge by the largest US automaker to build the upcoming new generation of the Chevrolet Malibu sedan on a second production line in the GM Bupyeong manufacturing facility west of the capital city Seoul. The move is also likely to end any speculation of production at the factory being cut down to lower costs. The union announced earlier in July the employees had decided to initiate a partial strike over salaries and also refused to work overtime hours, though the actions did not have an impact on production levels.
“In collaboration with the union, the company is fully focused on achieving record sales in 2015,” announced GM Korea in a statement released Thursday, with the company also focused on the introduction of new Chevrolet models on the local market. Ahead of the deal, the future of the US automaker’s South Korean division had been in peril because over the past half decade its labor costs had jumped almost 50 percent.