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May 4, 2021updated 12 May 2021 3:35pm

Renault Samsung workers continue strikes for higher wages

Workers at Renault Samsung Motors' car plant in Busan planned to go on strike for eight hours on Tuesday to demand higher wages, union officials confirmed on Monday.

Workers at Renault Samsung Motors ‘ car plant in Busan planned to go on strike for eight hours on Tuesday to demand higher wages, union officials confirmed on Monday.

This followed a series of six- and eight-hour strikes in the last two weeks, as the plant’s 1,900 unionised workers continued to ramp up pressure on the automaker to improve its wage proposals for this year.

Workers are not happy with latest wage proposals offered by the management so far after nine rounds of negotiations despite the current tough market conditions faced by the automaker.

The union is demanding a KRW71,687 (US$64) increase in the monthly basic pay and an annual bonus of KRW7m (US$6,240) per worker, while the company’s latest proposal is for a wage freeze and a bonus of KRW3m.

Renault Samsung global sales fell by over 24% to 31,412 vehicles in the first four months of 2021, compared with 41,477 units in the same period of last year, reflecting mainly tougher competition from domestic rivals Hyundai and Kia.

Earlier this year the automaker’s main shareholder, Renault, warned workers that it needed to ramp up production and cut manufacturing costs to stay afloat.

Renault Samsung announced an emergency cost-cutting programme in January, including a voluntary early retirement package, management redundancies and white collar salary cuts to help reverse last year’s heavy financial losses.

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