Hyundai’s Labor Union Plans New Strike image

Hyundai’s labor union in South Korea decided to resume wage talks with the management and go on another strike on Friday, July 20th.

Last Friday, July 13th, South Korean workers at Hyundai Motor Company went on a eight-hour strike, for the first time in four years after unsuccessful negotiations with the management over working conditions. The union announced that employees will also refuse to do overtime work on July 26th and July 27th.

“The chance is slim for us to seal a wage deal before the summer vacation which is from July 28 to August 5,” said union spokesman Kwon Oh-il.

The union demanded the company to stop overnight work, a proposal automakers are not very keen to accept. The companies fear this would lead to production losses. The Hyundai strike brings back unpleasant memories for the management, which for the last three years avoided work conflicts. The eight-hour strike on Friday cost the company around 88 billion Korean won ($76.50 million) or 4,300 vehicles.

The trade unions, which were silenced by conservative President Lee Myung-bak’s tough anti-labor stance since 2008, are now regaining their voice as this year’s presidential elections approach. Over 70,000 financial sector employees from South Korea voted last Friday to go on their first industry-wide strike in 12 years later this month.