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Renault Samsung’s Busan Plant Running Normally
Half of Union Members Reject Strike Order
Renault Samsung’s Busan Plant Running Normally
  • By Michael Herh
  • June 7, 2019, 09:52
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Union members of Renault Samsung's plant in Busan work on the production line on June 6, rejecting the union leaders' strike order.

The labor strike at Renault Samsung Motors is losing steam as a growing number of union members are revolting against the hard-line union leadership.

The leadership of the Renault Samsung labor union ordered unionists to go on full strike indefinitely on June 5, but about half of them did not follow the order.

The engine production line at Renault Samsung’s Busan plant was run by overtime workers as scheduled, Renault Samsung said on June 6. Sixty-nine employees were scheduled to work at the engine production line on the day, but it was unclear whether the line would be run as scheduled due to the union’s decision to go on full-scale strike on June 5.

However, 67 employees participated in the overtime, running the production line as scheduled. About 97 percent of unionists refused to join the strike.

Earlier, on June 5, the leadership of the company’s labor union decided to go on strike at 5:45 p.m. after the labor and management failed to reach an agreement on wage and collective bargaining. However, more than half of the plant workers reported to work in the afternoon, operating the plant normally.

Industry analysts say that it was unprecedented in the domestic manufacturing industry that workers operate production lines normally despite the union’s order to go on full strike. "Union members are keenly aware of the company’s management crisis, so they revolted against the order from the leadership," an analyst said. “A sharp drop in the company’s operation rate created fears about job loss, compelling the workers to go against the strike order.”

As a result of the union's strike which has lasted since last year, Renault Samsung’s production of the Nissan Rogue decreased by 40,000 units compared to last year 100,000 units. The company’s contract with Renault Group of France on the manufacturing of the Nissan Rogue will come to an end this September. The problem is that the labor-management conflict has darkened the prospect of Renault Samsung signing a new contract with Renault Group for manufacturing of a new model, threatening the very survival of the struggling automaker.