Hyundai Motor has successfully avoided a potential strike at its facilities in South Korea by reaching an agreement with its workers’ union. Following the lines of the United Auto Workers (UAW) in the US, Hyundai faced demands for higher wages and an increase in the retirement age from its workers. The deadlock was resolved when the Korean auto giant agreed to a wage hike of around 12 percent.
The National Labor Relations Commission had previously granted permission for Hyundai’s unionized workers to go on strike. With nearly 45,000 members, Hyundai’s workers union is one of the largest in South Korea. A voting was conducted last week to decide whether to proceed with the strike, in which approximately 41 percent of the union members rejected the deal. However, a majority approved the tentative agreement reached with the carmaker, leading to the settlement of the matter.
If the strike had proceeded as planned, it would have been the first wage-related conflict at Hyundai in South Korea in five years. In 2018, workers at Hyundai Motor and its sister concern Kia went on strike. Additionally, a four-hour strike in support of a general strike was held by the workers’ union in July.
The situation at Hyundai reflects a similar ongoing strike in the United States by the United Auto Workers (UAW) against Ford Motor, General Motors, and Stellantis. The US strike, which began four days ago, revolves around demands for fair pay and a share of the carmakers’ profits.
By addressing the wage hike demands put forth by its workers’ union, Hyundai Motor has successfully averted a major strike in South Korea. The agreement ensures stability in the workforce while allowing the company to focus on its production and operations.
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