Tuesday, October 15, 2019
KIA Motors’ Management and Labor End 9 Years of Wage Dispute
Reaching Agreement on Ordinary Wage
KIA Motors’ Management and Labor End 9 Years of Wage Dispute
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • March 19, 2019, 10:56
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Kang Sang-ho, a representative of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union Kia Motors branch, left, and Kia Motors vice president Choi Jun-young, pose for a photo after signing a final agreement on ordinary wages.
Kang Sang-ho, a representative of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union Kia Motors branch, left, and Kia Motors vice president Choi Jun-young, pose for a photo after signing a final agreement on ordinary wages.

The management and labor representatives of Kia Motors Corp. have ended nine years of the ordinary wage dispute. The two sides held a signing ceremony for special agreement on bonus, ordinary wage and wage system improvement and signed the final agreement at the main building of the Sohari Plant in Gwangmyeong City, Gyeonggi Province, on March 18

The company’s management and labor union tentatively agreed on the payment terms of ordinary wages and overdue wages at the special committee on March 11 and 53.3 percent of union members voted for the agreement on March 14. The special committee agreed to include bonuses in the base salary and raise 31,000 won (US$27) a month on average and pay about 19 million won (US$16,762) to each union member in overdue wages. The management agreed to pay 60 percent of the second instance court-ordered amount in overdue individual wages during the period of the first trial by the end of October this year. As for the period of the second and third lawsuits from November 2011 to March 2019, the company plans to a fixed amount of 8 million won (US$7,058) per employee by the end of this month.

In addition, the company’s management and labor union agreed to include regular bonuses, which make up 750 percent of the ordinary pay, in the base salary and calculate the hourly wage including bonuses.

With the latest agreement, Kia Motors’ labor union is planning to drop the second case proceeding, after it receives the total amount of the settlement money. Accordingly, the ordinary wage dispute ended with the talks between the management and labor union instead of a legal battle.

However, the first lawsuit and the third lawsuit are separated cases so workers can continue the litigation if they want. Those who want to continue the lawsuit will not be paid the overdue wages. The labor union will decide on whether to keep or drop the case by March 21.