Unanticipated Factor?: GM’s Negotiation over Collective Bargaining Agreement Breaks Down | BusinessKorea

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GM Korea CEO Kaher Kagem Kazem's did not accepted union's request to replace the interpreter who provided allegedly fodder for another conflict with the labor union.
GM Korea CEO Kaher Kagem Kazem's did not accepted union's request to replace the interpreter who provided allegedly fodder for another conflict with the labor union.
SEOUL,KOREA
14 September 2017 - 4:30pm
Michael Herh

The labor and management of GM Korea Labor tried to resume negotiations in 50 days but strangely, the attempts were thwarted over the issue of changing an interpreter. The labor union decided to stage a partial strike from September 14 to 18.

According to industry sources on April 14, the labor and management tried to have the first collective bargaining agreement negotiation after the appointment of Kaher Kazem as new CEO in the afternoon of the previous day but the negotiation no longer proceeded without Kazem's acceptance of the union's request to replace the interpreter.

The labor union’s demand for the replacement of the interpreter reportedly stemmed from a quarrel between union officials during a partial strike on July 17 when the full-time interpreter for the CEO was passing an entrance door of Bupyeong Factory controlled by the labor union. "The interpreter expressed regrets on the next day and was out of negotiations for a while," the union said. “This time, the management rejected our request. This means that the management ignored us.”   

To Kazem, an Australian citizen, each of the interpreter’s words can really matter during negotiations. It is said that Kagem told the union, "It was my right to select my interpreter."

The negotiation garnered much attention as it was resumed in about 50 days since the failure of the collective bargaining agreement negotiation on July 24 but did not take place. The management has been embarrassed as not a major point of the negotiation but an unexpected happening broke off the negotiation.

Kazem visited the union office last month prior to his official inauguration but the labor union went on a partial strike on September 5. The union began to turn down overtime work on September 14. A three-day partial strike will be staged until September 18. The labor union also said that the strike is a warning to the management.

Even if negotiations are resumed, the labor and management are expected to have difficulty hammering out an agreement as Kazem is placing his top priority on enhancing profitability and the labor union is demanding a pay raise.

 

 

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