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October 21, 2004

SOUTH KOREA: Another strike threat looms at Hyundai

The labour union at Hyundai Motor plans to vote next week to decide whether to join a strike proposed by a wider labor group, a Hyundai union official told the Reuters news agency.

By bcusack

The labour union at Hyundai Motor plans to vote next week to decide whether to join a strike proposed by a wider labor group, a Hyundai union official told the Reuters news agency.

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the country’s second-largest labor group, with 620,000 members, reportedly has asked member unions to vote by early next month on whether to wage a strike to stop revision of the labor law.

The KCTU says the proposed revision is unfavourable to contract-based workers, Reuters reported. The umbrella group also opposes the government’s move to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan, which will most likely help Japanese car makers gain a larger foothold in the South Korean market, dominated so far by local players.

“We’ll hold a vote on Oct. 27-28 as asked by the KCTU,” an official at Hyundai’s 40,000-strong union told the news agency. “The date for a strike, if any, will be decided later by the KCTU.”

Reuters noted that Hyundai Motor has been at the forefront of labor disputes this year and is a key force within the KCTU.

Seoul aims to sign an FTA with Japan by the end of 2005, the report added.

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