Auto trade unions vowed yesterday to fight an apparent lack of management support for a profit-allocation plan to help temporary workers, reported the Korea Herald today.

The unions from Hyundai, KIA, GM Daewoo and Ssangyong submitted the plan in March, calling on management to earmark 5 percent of corporate profit to assist temporary workers, who receive less pay and fewer benefits than full-time employees. Yesterday, at a news conference in Seoul, union officials accused management of trying to avoid negotiations.

“We will demand further discussion with the companies. But when if such a lukewarm reaction continues, the four unions here will jointly stage protests step by step,” said Lee Sang-uk, union leader of Hyundai Motors. He did not rule out a possibility of a strike but said the specific action plan should be discussed among the unions.

Auto workers say the fund plan could be submitted to a shareholders’ meeting for approval or go through negotiations between management, labour and investors.

“Two years ago, Ssangyong Motors agreed with its workers on how to use the profits. Indeed, the control of the profits is not sorely reserved for the management,” said Jo Geon-jun, director of Korea Metal Workers’ Federation, the upper-level labour organization that has the four auto unions under its wing.

With the annual spring labour talks heating up, other issues gained attention, the Herald report said.

Hyundai Motor union yesterday disputed the company’s proposal to reduce paid leave by 14 days a year. The company said the reduction is designed to make up for loss in the real working days that the five-day workweek scheme caused.