Korean Labor Troubles

It may be back to the bad old days for Hyundai, the huge South Korean chaebol. After having seemingly settled the worst of its labor problems last year, the group is experiencing a strike at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.'s shipbuilding yard in Ulsan that has already cost $250 million in lost orders.

The Hyundai workers, who have been on strike for a month, are demanding wage hikes of more than 20% and partial management control. Now, sympathy strikes are starting to pop up at sister companies. Speculation is growing that the government could send in the police force to break the strike, a measure it frequently resorted to when Korea was ruled by the generals.

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