Blog: Korean strikes
Dave Leggett | 8 August 2003
That settlement, some observers say, took Korean car worker pay remarkably close to US levels. The American United Auto Workers union is hunkered down with the car makers right now and is reportedly more realistic than expected over such tricky issues as healthcare and plant closures.
The Koreans would be wise, perhaps, to do likewise. The Hyundai strike apparently didn't hit its profits but, long-term, the unions' reputations for British Leyland-like militancy and demands for unrealistic pay deals could hurt Korean cars' competitiveness worldwide.
If that happens, another (much) lower labour cost car building country is quietly growing expertise and acquiring plants and technology - another Honda joint venture today, in fact. They call it China.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...