Workers at Hyundai Motor voted on Wednesday on whether to accept a union-management deal freezing next year's basic wages in return for hefty bonuses.

If they approve the deal, 2009 would become the company's first strike-free year for 15 years.

"The voting lasted six hours and ended at noon. The ballot counting will start late this evening and the results won't be known until Thursday," a union spokesman told AFP.

He declined to say how many of the 45,000 union members took part.

Union leaders reached the deal with the management on Monday at the company's plant in Ulsan, 400km (250 miles) south of Seoul. They agreed to freeze next year's basic wages in return for bonuses worth some KRW15m (US$12,700) each.

This is made up of three months' salary or around KRW6m, a KRW5m incentive payment and 40 company shares valued around KRW4.5m.

"If approved, it would make this year the first strike-free year in 15 years," a spokesman for the company said.

Between 1987 and last year, strikes cost the company production of 1.1m vehicles resulting in KRW11.7 trillion ($9.9bn) in losses, he said.

Hyundai Motor union leader Lee Kyoung-Hoon said in a statement that union representatives had got as much as they could. He said other top companies such as Samsung, POSCO, LG and Hyundai Heavy Industries were freezing basic wages.