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Branch Head of Hyundai Motor Trade Union Quits

Posted June. 16, 2009 01:01,   


The head of the Hyundai Motor branch of the Korea Metal Workers’ Union announced his resignation yesterday. The carmaker’s union plans to officially announce Yun Hae-mo’s departure after an extended operating committee meeting today.

Yun was scheduled to announce his resignation at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. yesterday. Due to resistance from certain union members, however, the news conference was canceled, but Yun said he will not change his mind.

The union has not spoken about the resignation, but experts blamed internal disputes as the biggest reason.

Hyundai union members have been at odds over the two-shift system that allows production around the clock, an item which is on the agenda of collective bargaining. The internal disputes have worsened since the Democratic Labor Struggle Committee, to which Yun belongs, expelled its general director June 9.

The general director is known to have arbitrarily allowed the carmaker’s second and third factories to produce the Avante model. After his name was taken off the list, other high-ranking union executives resigned, with one saying, “Excluding a general director from an organization when collective bargaining is ongoing is no different than preventing a branch head from working efficiently.”

As the executives resigned in droves, labor-management negotiations scheduled for Friday were canceled.

Hyundai union rules stipulate that all union executives must step down when the branch head resigns. That means an election is needed to form a new executive team.

The Korea Metal Workers’ Union said it will make into regional branches five trade union offices belonging to companies among its 19 branches, but has yet to suggest concrete measures.

Against this backdrop, the carmaker’s union is unable to hold an election to form a new executive team. Collective bargaining and wage negotiations will be delayed until the team is formed.

Labor and management completed nine rounds of negotiations from April 24 to June 10.