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Labor Unions in Automobile Industry Becoming Increasingly Militant
Hyundai Motor Labor Union to Elect New Leaders
Labor Unions in Automobile Industry Becoming Increasingly Militant
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • November 19, 2019, 09:24
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Unionized GM Korea workers occupy the office of the president of the company.

The Hyundai Motor labor union is about to elect the heads of four branches and the four heads are likely to consist of three hawkish and one moderate. The elections are predicted to be critical with regard to the company’s green car production in the future. Earlier, external advisors said that the company should reduce its workforce by 20 percent to 40 percent for green car production and process automation. The company may miss the timing for its reform if the union becomes even more militant.

In the meantime, the GM Korea labor union completed its candidate registration in six branches on Nov. 13. Two of the candidates are hard-liners, one is moderate and three are soft-liners. It is pointed out that strikes can be repeated for more pressure on the management. “Production extension for the Trax SUV hinges on the stance of the next heads of the labor union,” said an industry insider, adding, “If hard-liners takes the largest portion, the GM headquarters will not trust the company any longer, and then even a factory shutdown may follow.”

In Kia Motors, a new militant labor union was organized on Oct. 30 and disputes between the union and the management are already occurring. The union is calling for a resumption of wage negotiations without delay, signaling a strong action against the management’s punishment on some union members.