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Ssangyong Motor Union Goes On Strike

Posted May. 22, 2009 07:14,   


The union of the bankrupt Ssangyong Motors launched yesterday a full strike in protest of the company’s restructuring plan.

The strike came a day before creditors held a meeting on how to revive the company.

Management took a hard-line stance on the strike, saying, “We will take legal action and if this illegal activity goes on, we will consider a lockout.

The union asked its members to come to the plant with materials for use in demonstrations at 1 p.m. Friday. All members went home yesterday afternoon and the company`s plants in Pyeongtaek and Changwon stopped operations.

Unionized workers plan to hold a news conference at the Pyeongtaek factory today, saying they are exercising their right to protest as a means to block the company’s decision to lay off workers at the creditors’ meeting today.

When the company announced layoffs of 2,646 staff April 8, the union held a vote and passed its plan to protest with approval of 84 percent.

Ssangyong management said in a statement, “We will strictly respond to the union’s illegal strike in accordance with law and principles. The restructuring plan is inevitable for our survival and revival and must continue as planned.”

A Ssangyong executive also said, “It`s so frustrating that the union decided to go on strike a day before the creditors’ meeting in an attempt to block it. There is no option other than responding with legal action including prosecution.”

The company extended the application period for voluntary retirement that was supposed to end May 18 to Monday, and expects around 1,000 staff to apply for it. Thus another 1,500 workers are set to be let go June 8.