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July 21, 2017updated 09 Apr 2021 12:41pm

Kia, GM Korea workers vote for strike action

Workers at Kia Motors in South Korea this week voted in favour of strike action after wage negotiations with the company broke down.

Workers at Kia Motors in South Korea this week voted in favour of strike action after wage negotiations with the company broke down. 

They voted 72% in favour of industrial action if their union failed to reach an agreement with management over worker compensation. They were demanding a KRW155,000 (US$139) increase in the basic monthly wage and also combined bonuses amounting to 30% of the company's full year 2016 operating profits, according to local reports.

With GM Korea workers having also voted in favour of strike action over wages in the previous week, the South Korean auto industry could be in for a summer of disruption. At GM, workers were demanding a similar rise in the monthly basic wage and annual bonuses equivalent to 500% of the basic wage.

The calls for industrial action came as the overall domestic vehicle market declined by 4% in the first half of the year from record volumes in 2016.

Hyundai and Kia sales also fell in China, a key export market, by over 60% year on year in recent months as South Korean corporations continued to pay the price of the fallout between the two countries over the deployment of the THAAD missile shield.

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