Hyundai Motor Union Workers Approve 2015 Wage Pact to End Strike

  • Hyundai’s South Korea workers approve annual wage pact
  • Deal with union comes as Hyundai seeks to arrest falling sales

Hyundai Motor Co.’s workers in South Korea approved a tentative wage agreement, ending strikes at the company’s largest manufacturing base as the automaker seeks to reverse seven consecutive quarters of profit decline.

Workers at Hyundai led by union head Park You Ki, who was elected into the position late November, approved a preliminary accord that includes raising monthly base salaries by 85,000 won ($73), according to union spokesman Jang Chang Yeal.

The agreement brings relief to Hyundaias South Korea’s largest automaker is poised to miss its annual sales target for the first time since 2008 amid a slump in deliveries. The company has said it will spin off its luxury Genesis sedan into a standalone premium brand to move upscale as well as boost profit.

In addition to the base salary increase, the wage pact includes a one-time payout of 4.2 million won and bonuses worth 400 percent of a worker’s monthly salary, according to an e-mailed statement from the company.

The union and the company have also agreed to trim one hour from the afternoon shift to have workers in South Korea work eight hours per shift, according to the statement. Currently, the company operates its plants at home with morning and afternoon shifts that last eight hours and nine hours, respectively.

Since last year, the inclusion of bonuses in regular pay has been the main issue dividing management and labor.

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