SOUTH KOREA: Hyundai union leader encourages strike
The leader of Hyundai Motor's union has urged his members to vote in favour of a strike after annual wage negotiations with management reached an impasse.
"I hope you can express your steadfast will to fight," Lee Sang-wook, the union's president, told members in a statement on its web site cited by the Associated Press (AP). "Let's express our rage with an unanimous landslide vote against the company that has cheated more than 44,000 union members."
AP said the union's 44,227 members voted on Friday on the strike plan but results were not expected until early Saturday.
A Hyundai spokesman told AP the automaker was was watching the vote and added that the two sides had scheduled an 11th round of formal negotiations for next Monday.
AP noted that strikes at Hyundai are common, that workers have already walked off the job twice this year and that the union has gone on strike every year but one since it was founded in 1987.
According to the report, Hyundai has offered a 5.4% increase, or 78,000 won ($US83/EUR61) extra a month in basic salary but the union is seeking an 8.9% hike. Hyundai has also offered an incentive of three months of pay and a bonus of 1m won ($1,065/EUR779) if the company meets annual targets, AP said .
But the union wants the automaker to pay 30% of its 2007 net profit to union members as bonuses and to raise the retirement age to 60 from 58.
Spokesmen for automaker and union told AP that Hyundai Motor's Ulsan plant president Yoon Yeo-cheol visited Lee on Friday, urging dialogue. Lee responded that the union favoured dialogue, but that the key to a favourable result was in the hands of management, the Associated Press said.