An email sent to the staff of GM’s South Korean division, signed by the unit’s boss, is warning about the ripple effects that a looming strike could have, as the major automotive production base in Asia could be forced to contend with further output issues.
The 15,000 workers that belong to GM’s union are scheduled to vote this week on the prospect of entering another strike, the fourth consecutive year to do so, as the summer “schedule” of labor unrest seems to be well implemented by now.
“We have seen such (strike) decisions boomerang on us. If a loss in production is incurred again this year due to strikes, the result could be much worse than we can imagine,” said in the email GM Korea’s CEO Sergio Rocha. “It may lead to an additional reduction in production volume, which is closely related to our job security. We need to stop this vicious cycle before it is too late,” he added.
The GM unit in the Asian country has already seen its fair share of troubles, as the parent company, US automaker General Motors decided last year to pull out of Europe its main Chevrolet brand, with the decision strongly affecting GM Korea – which relied on Europe for most of its exports.
This year, the executives at GM Korea and the labor leaders started wage talks in April, but have been deadlocked ever since – not meeting common ground on salary boosts and future production strategies.