80,000 Hyundai workers protest low-wage factory


Motor company Hyundai’s plans for a low-wage factory in the South Korean city of Gwangju was met with employee protests on Thursday.

According to the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU), about 80,000 workers from Hyundai Motor and sister company Kia went on strike for four hours as a warning.

“They wanted to protest the Gwangju Jobs Model Project,’’ KMWU’s automotive industry director, Ha Young Chul, said.

According to NAN, Hyundai and the city government of Gwanju are in negotiations for the construction of a factory where employees would be paid an annual salary of roughly 35 million won (31,160 dollars).

The average annual salary for Hyundai employees nationwide stands at 92 million won.

The planned factory would produce mini SUVs.

The world’s fifth largest automotive group wants a 19-per-cent share in the joint venture for the project, initiated by the city.

But negotiations came to a halt this week due to wage disputes with the union.

Hyundai said it would make a “final decision’’ whether to involve itself if it deems the project “feasible.’’


Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam

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