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Hyundai Motor Union Chief `Shocked` Over Detroit’s Demise

Hyundai Motor Union Chief `Shocked` Over Detroit’s Demise

Posted March. 17, 2010 08:29,   


“Labor and management must change for Hyundai Motor not to repeat the errors of GM and Ford of the U.S. and Toyota of Japan, and for unionized workers to be assured of employment guarantees.”

So said Lee Gyeong-hun, head of Hyundai’s union under the umbrella Korea Metal Workers’ Union to The Dong-A Ilbo yesterday. “It was shocking beyond description to see all of Detroit turned into a devastated city because of the shutdown of GM auto plants,” he added.

He visited Hyundai plants in the U.S. and China for 10 days from Feb. 1.

Lee recently published articles on the matter in the company’s union journal and a newsletter. In a contributing article in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal, he said, “Detroit used to be a hub of the U.S. automobile industry, where 11 auto plants operated. But only two are operating there now after relocation or shutdown of plants by GM.”

“As a result, the city’s functions have come to a halt. The population has declined with fewer jobs available and buildings have been devastated because of the trend of industrial harrowing. Korea’s motor city of Ulsan should learn lessons from Detroit.”

Lee added, “The main cause of the Toyota fiasco was the automaker’s failure to recognize American sentiment that values honesty, and to respond to problems in time instead of trying just to cover things up.”