Kumho Tire’s labor union has been waging the overall strike for more than a month. The effects of the strike are mounting, and at last count were 120 billion won (US$101.18 million). However, the rift between management and labor is only deepening. Korea's largest tire company said on Sept. 13 that the ongoing strike of 32 days has cost about 120 billion won (US$101.18 million) in losses. Losses of its partners have also reached 35 billion won (US$29.51 million).
In particular, even the regional economy is faltering, as losses of its partners in Gwangju and South Jeolla Province stand at 16 billion won (US$13.49 million). An official of Kumho Tire said, “The unreasonable strike of labor has incurred huge losses, and its damage is expanding to our partners.”
Although the situation is worsening, Kumho Tire’s labor and management still have not been able to reach an agreement. After the negotiations on Sept. 10, the leaders of labor and management are not planning to have another meeting, but have rather made accusations against each other. Negotiations between the two sides have failed to produce a breakthrough due to differences over the lump-sum amount that the company will pay the workers in compensation for the adoption of a peak wage system.
The company has offered a 3 million won (US$2,538) bonus per person in exchange for accepting the new wage system this year. However, the union countered by demanding an additional bonus and postponing its performance-based payment next year.