Unionized GM Korea workers launched a rally on Aug. 13 against this year’s wage negotiations. Later that day, GM Korea president Kaher Kazem met with senior executives and managers to explain the situation of the company.
The meeting is to dissuade employees from joining the rally. However, the labor union is planning to disclose the names of those not participating. In short, labor-management tensions are intensifying in the company.
The meeting was attended by more than 500 executive and staff members at GM Korea and GM Technical Center Korea. “Last year was a year of change and our goal for this year is to keep our promises with the South Korean government and shareholders such as Korea Development Bank,” the president said, adding, “At present, we are keeping our promises in accordance with our future plan.”
GM Korea is currently building a painting plant and expanding production lines for new SUVs and CUVs to be produced in Bupyeong and Changwon, respectively. In addition, GM Korea launched GM Technical Center Korea, an R&D arm, in January this year and hired 100 or so new engineers in order to enhance its R&D work in South Korea. Furthermore, it established a regional HQ covering the Asia-Pacific region so that the South Korean market functions as the linchpin of GM’s business in the region.
“Executive and staff members’ participation and support are indispensable for our financial goals and the promise-keeping process,” the president went on to say, continuing, “All of us should make more efforts for the same goal until achievements are realized.”
In spite of his request, the labor union is maintaining its stance. It has demanded a 5.65 percent rise in base pay along with 16.5 million won in bonus and revocation of the management’s welfare cut plan. The rally is scheduled to continue on Aug. 14.