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The Dude
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The global economic crisis hurting consumption worldwide is not enough to soften the demands of Hyundai Motor Co.'s labor union, one of the country's most active labor groups.
Instead, the head of its union, Yoon Hae-mo, has actually proposed launching another strike at the onset of the New Year over frustrations in their attempts to iron out an acceptable deal with the automaker's management.

The global economic slump has forced Hyundai Motor, the country's leading carmaker, to adopt emergency measures to cope with dwindling demand worldwide. It has had to suspend production lines at the factory in Ulsan.

Despite reports of Hyundai employees willing to support management's scaling-down measures, the labor union is reportedly planning its annual strike, a tradition of more than 20 years.

A local Hyundai Motor labor branch announced on Thursday that it is likely to announce the intention to strike during the interim conference scheduled for today. However, such a proposal does not mean a strike is certain to take place.

Since its formation in 1987, the Hyundai labor union has launched a walkout every year, except for in 1994.

The motive for staging the walkout is reportedly over pay and plans to reduce night operations to two rotations per week at the plants within January, decisions agreed upon with the management in September.

But the labor union claims management is unwilling to follow through. It says negotiations with management since last month over details to run a pilot test for the weekly dual rotations have failed to narrow differences of opinion.

The labor union says it wants the company to follow through with the pledges made in the initial agreement. However, the company says it had not intended to break the terms of agreement, stressing that economic conditions have made its vows difficult to meet.

Hyundai management officials emphasize that they had not expected the global crisis to sharply cut car sales at the time of the negotiations.

As much as the downturn has forced the company to undertake large-scale production cuts not seen since the 1998 Asian financial crisis, Hyundai argues that it does not have enough orders to immediately launch the pilot bi-rotational operation each week.

The company has requested holding one rotation each week, in the case of its Jeonju plant, amid declining sales for bus orders. Currently, weekly night operators at the Jeonju factory work eight-hour shifts.

Industry observers see the labor union's plans to propose a strike at the upcoming meeting as a means to pressure management into an agreement.

Observers say there is even controversy among workers over the appropriateness of holding a strike during such uncertain times, more so as global automakers face survival challenges. Opponents believe a strike could create more job losses.

According to observers, approving the proposal for a walkout immediately after the meeting on Monday would be difficult. They even doubt the likelihood of a strike.

But they warn that failure to narrow differences between labor and management, whose ties are already chilly, could spark another big crisis at Hyundai.

By Yoo Soh-jung


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Premium Member
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2,511 Posts
Unions are a curse these days. If the union does not realize that car companies are on the brink of collapse, I say let them close and lose all the jobs forever. This is totally ridiculous and no one on the outside is going to have any sympathy for their plight.
 

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The Dude
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2,120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm pro unions if it wasn't for the unions all the airplane industry would be over in foriegn countries. If Boeing had there way thats what they would do ,thats why the new dreamliner is so far behind because they shipped out parts of it to non union foriegn manufacters that can't get the work done and its biting them in the a$$.
 

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Premium Member
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Nothing wrong with unions. Just a problem when a product is already priced at the top and there is no market. Canton Timken said they were no longer competitive in the market place as their roller bearings were already 2x the price of Federal Mogul. At some point a product reaches its max on cost/sales. There was no more to give, the union played hardball and they shut the plant for good. Thats all I am saying. Fight the fight when you are in a better position, not now.
 
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