Wednesday, June 26, 2019
GM Korea’s Normalization Falls into an Ambush
Temporary Workers Protest
GM Korea’s Normalization Falls into an Ambush
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • May 15, 2018, 12:20
Share articles

GM Korea, which was bailed out by its parent company and the Korea Development Bank (KDB), has hit a snag in the early stage of its normalization. 

GM Korea planned to hold a press conference on May 14 to explain the normalization plan to reporters at its Bupyeong plant, with Barry Angle, president of the overseas business at GM, and GM Korea president KaherKazem, attending.

Temporary workers of GM Korea protest at the PR center of Bypyung Factory on May 14, disrupting a press conference on the company's normalization plan.
Temporary workers of GM Korea protest at the PR center of Bypyung Factory on May 14, disrupting a press conference on the company's normalization plan.

The company wanted to explain how to increase GM Korea’s competitiveness in the market in the future as GM Headquarters (about 6.9 trillion won) and the KDB (800 billion won) decided to inject 7.7 trillion won into GM Korea to save the company.

However, around 10 a.m. on the day, members of the GM Korea Temporary Workers Union stormed into the press conference room and protested with pickets, saying, “It is a deception to normalize GM Korea without addressing the issue of temporary workers.”

"Even though negotiations on wages and collective bargaining with regular workers have been concluded, temporary workers are covered by such negotiations," a GM Korea official said. He added that the press conference was postponed indefinitely due to concerns about the safety of company officials.

Despite the cancellation of the press conference, the company organized a social contribution campaign event with the participation of local politicians.

GM Korea was planning to launch a marketing campaign in which the company would donate one Chevrolet to the local community whenever GM Korea sells 1,000 Chevrolets. The event was to take place at the PR Center with the participation of GM president Angle, GM Korea president Kazem, Incheon mayor Yoo Jung-bok, lawmaker Park Nam-chun of the Minjoo Party, lawmaker Jeong Yoo-seop of the Korea Liberty Party and representatives of civic groups.

After the surprise protest by temporary workers, GM Korea intended to cancel the event due to safety concerns. But as the politicians including Mayor Yoo arrived at the PR Center, GM Korea changed the venue to the third floor of the center and held the event behind closed doors.

"Local politicians wanted to announce the end of the GM Korea crisis before the local election in June, so it was difficult for GM Korea to cancel it," said a representative of the event.