The Korea Herald reports that labour unions are stepping up their efforts to have bigger roles in management amid growing concern in business circles about possible chaos in corporate decision-making and damage to profits. The labour union at Kia is demanding the right to participate in key managerial decisions, including ones about how to distribute production projects of new car models.

The union of Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co. called for four-way talks with Hyundai's and Kia's management and the two firms' unions in a bid to promote fair allocation of production plans between the two leading automakers, according to the Herald.

The newspaper report says that the Kia union's claim to decision-making powers in the planning procedure represents a higher level of labour participation compared to that agreed between Hyundai Motor's management and labour union last week. The deal at Hyundai mandated a labour-management council's approval on major management decisions after management sets up the plans.

Some 24,000 unionised workers at Kia began holding sporadic walkouts beginning July 23 and are threatening to escalate pressure on management with work stoppages if their demand to participate in management decisions regarding production plans and development of new car models are not met in their negotiations with management.

The labour union at Hyundai Motor reached agreement with management last Tuesday to begin adopting the five-day workweek next month and to subject the company's layoff decisions to the union's consent.