Unions have reached agreement with the Ssangyong management over wage levels for this year in an effort to revive the ailing company.

The decision is part of the annual collective bargaining agreement on the wage and working conditions of employees, said Ssangyong.

The South Korean carmaker has been under bankruptcy protection since early last year after China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp cancelled its 51% stake in the company. Ssangyong lost US$22m in the first quarter of the year, though it was a sharp improvement from a net loss of US$23m from the same period in 2009.

Ssangyong opened a bid last week to sell a majority of its stakes, and is expected to select a preferred bidder in August. To help the sale, unions have also agreed to implement the government’s so-called ‘time-off’ system, which will limit the number of full-time union leaders on payroll from the current 39 to around seven.