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August 26, 2021

GM Korea, Kia agree wages with unions

After lengthy negotiations, a compromise on pay was reached.

By David Leggett

General Motors ’ South Korean manufacturing subsidiary, GM Korea, has reached a wage agreement with its labour union following months of protracted negotiations.

The automaker’s labour union confirmed on Tuesday that around 65% of its members have voted in favour of a revised wage proposal for the year after fifteen rounds of wage negotiations since May.

Workers accepted the offer of additional benefits such as gift vouchers and coupons on top of the KRW30,000 (US$26) monthly wage rise and a KRW4.5m (US$3,850) annual bonus previously offered previously by the management.

GM Korea said in a statement “with this positive momentum, we can continue our ongoing business normalization efforts”. In response to union demands for the release of vehicle production plans, the company said “it is hard to promise any production plans for now”.

GM Korea has three vehicle assembly plants in South Korea with a combined production capacity of 630,000 units per year. Its global sales in the first seven months of 2021 fellby 13% to 173,998 vehicles.

In a separate report KIA Corporation’s labor union this week also agreed to a wage proposal,without resorting to strikes for the first time in a decade. The proposal, which is still subject to a members vote on Friday, includes a KRW75,000(US$64) monthly wage rise and an annual bonus equivalent of 200% of the monthly salary and additional bonuses worth KRW5.8m (US$4,970).

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