Approximately 250 Kia Motors employees converted into production workers from sales workers are currently waiting to be assigned for a month. This is because the Kia Motors labor union overturned its previous agreement with the management. The assignment is likely to be handled after this year’s wage negotiations currently underway.
The 250 or so employees went through interviews in June. The ongoing delay is because objections were raised within the labor union. At present, unionized sales and maintenance workers are calling for additional employment to fill the vacant positions and unionized production workers are calling for the management to hire 525 persons within this year in accordance with their agreement in October 2016. The company hired 995 workers last year and 73 in August this year based on the agreement.
The thing is, the management’s burden will soar if every request is met. The company’s domestic production volume is on the decrease and electric vehicles it will increasingly concentrate on require much fewer parts than internal combustion engine-based vehicles. In other words, the management should reduce its employment. Its plan to enhance production efficiency based on the conversion will be thwarted if it complies with all of those unionized workers’ requests.
Besides, the workers are currently calling for a 120,000 won increase in base pay along with a bonus equivalent to 30 percent of the company’s operating profit and retirement age extension to 64. In short, the management’s labor cost burden can snowball down the road.