Hyundai Motor’s labor union has started preparations to go on strike following the breakdown of negotiations with the company over wages and the collective agreement. If the union decides to stage a strike, it would mark the eighth consecutive year that the union held a walkout in 2012.
The South Korean carmaker’s union, which is under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), announced the collapse of negotiations and walked away from the table just in 30 minutes at the 16th collective bargaining held in Ulsan Friday.
The union earlier demanded that the management provide a proposal for this year’s wages and collective agreement, but has been rejected by the company. Hyundai and its labor union have continued negotiations since May, but have failed to narrow the gap between them over a wage system. Unionized workers have called for an increase of basic pay by 5.8 percent (123,526 won) and 30 percent of the net income for the one-year period as bonuses. They also demanded that their retirement age be extended and bonuses be included when calculating ordinary wages. Ha Eon-tae, vice president at Hyundai Motor, cited poor business performances as a reason for not being able to raise employees’ wages.
Hyundai’s union has said that it plans to ask the National Labor Relations Commission to intervene in the dispute on Monday to seek a settlement and decide whether to pursue a walkout on Tuesday. The union will hold a vote over whether to stage a strike starting from July 29. If the commission decides to stop the mediation process and a majority agrees to strike, the union will be given the right to strike.