Hyundai said that 82 workers at its largest facility were hurt during a clash with labor activists that were asking for better conditions for temporary employees.
The dispute took place on July 20th and lasted three hours, involving activists from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and the automaker’s managers and security guards. The damages caused reached 2.2 billion won ($2 million) and around 100 people have been injured. Hyundai workers have been the subject of period salary protests, which included the walkout on August 2012, which caused the automaker a record production loss of 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion).
Reports say that some of the union members tried to use force to enter the facility in Ulsan, throwing stones and bamboo sticks at the automaker’s security personnel, who had to use fire hoses to keep them away. The labor union wants Hyundai to convert 6,800 of the temporary workers into regular employees so that they could enjoy better pay and benefits. Back In December Hyundai said that it will convert 3,500 employees at the beginning of 2016, but this offer was rejected by the labor unions.
“The incident was triggered by a third party which doesn’t help the company or the non-regular workers’ union trying to reach an agreement on the issue,” said Lee Sang Hyun, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co. “Although it has a negative impact on investor sentiment, the issue won’t lead to big production losses as the number of workers involved is few and they can be replaced.”