Kim Eok-jo, Hyundai’s vice chairman in charge of labor relations, quit due to disputes with workers which made the company lose 270 billion won ($243.14 million) in production.
Hyundai’s labor union refused to work last weekend, March 16th and 17th, which would be the second consecutive weekend of production stoppage, due to disagreements with the company regarding new production schedules which have taken out overnight work. The labor union wants Hyundai to make up for the salary cuts resulted from reduced weekend working hours. The management rejected their request.
The company said it is impossible to manufacture 13,000 vehicles during the two weekends this month. Kim Eok-jo, 62, cited ‘personal reasons’ for his decision to resign, after only one year in the job. He underlined troubled relations with the labor union at the company’s South Korean plants, which account for 43% of the automaker’s vehicles sold globally. The new working schedule will reduce the automaker’s production in South Korea, where Hyundai is already fighting with limited global capacity.
On another matter, Ford and Hyundai reported sales up more than 40% in January and February in China, helping the auto market to see a slight growth after it showed signs of slowing down in overall Chinese industrial production and retail sales. Hyundai saw its sales reach 177,000 units in January and February, while Ford hit 105,000 units.