Gov't calls for talks between GM Korea, labor union

Apr 06 2018

Gov’t calls for talks between GM Korea, labor union

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SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government on Friday urged General Motors’ Korean unit to resume negotiations with its labor union to normalize its business as an intensifying labor dispute is complicating the automaker’s turnaround plan.

A tug-of-war between GM Korea and its workers has turned more combative after some union leaders took over the office of GM Korea President Kaher Kazem at the company’s Bupyeong plant, west of Seoul, for 15 hours from Thursday, demanding the payment of bonuses.

Under the 2017 wage deal, about 16,000 workers at GM Korea received 6 million won (US$5,660) per person in the first round of bonuses in February, and they have been promised a second round of bonuses worth 4.5 million won by Friday.

As the clash unfolded, Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, visited Bupyeong to meet with Kazem and called for resuming negotiations with unionized workers to discuss the company’s restructuring plan.

“To normalize GM Korea’s business, the management and labor union should reach an agreement as soon as possible,” Paik was quoted as saying in the closed meeting with the CEO. “The government can draw up detailed support measures only after a labor agreement is reached.”

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