General Motors Korea union workers have approved a new pay deal but just 55% said yes.

A union spokesman told Reuters 55% of the workers approved a tentative deal reached on Monday under which GM Korea would raise the basic monthly wage by KRW83,000 (US$71) and pay each employee KRW10.5m in bonuses and incentives.

The company also agreed to build the next Chevrolet Malibu at Bupyeong, likely ending speculation of production at the plant being scaled back.

The pay deal reportedly avoids the need for any strike action in an industry renowned in the past for sometimes violent confrontation in pay negotiation season.

GM's Korean operations had been under a cloud after labour costs rose by almost half over the last five years.

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