Hyundai Motor said it has reached an agreement with its labour union this week to freeze wages this year to help the company cope with the impact of the coronavirus.

The union agreed to an unchanged basic pay for this year, along with an annual bonus of 150% of the monthly salary, a KRW1.2m (US$1,030) special COVID-19 allowance, 10 shares in the company and KRW200,000 in gift vouchers, according to local reports. Union workers are scheduled to vote on the agreement on Friday.

This will be Hyundai's first pay freeze in 11 years, since just after the global financial crisis in 2009 and the second since the Asia financial crisis in 1998. The company also noted this was the second consecutive year it had reached a pay agreement with unions without a strike.

Hyundai global sales fell by more than 21% to 2,237,733 units in the first eight months of 2020 from 2,848,759 units in the same period of last year.

The agreement came after a 30 year old worker at the Ulsan plant tested positive for COVID-19 last week although the company does not expect this to affect production operations.

Affiliate Kia Motors said it would resume operations at its two plants in Gwangmyeong on Tuesday after production was suspended last Wednesday after 13 workers and family members tested positive for COVID-19.

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