SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co’s unionized workers in South Korea voted on Monday to accept the lowest bonus offered in nearly two decades amid widespread restructuring in the auto industry and a damaging trade dispute with Japan.
With the approval, announced on Tuesday, Hyundai avoided a walkout by workers for the first time in eight years.
Hyundai - Workers - Strikes - Years - Union
Hyundai’s South Korean workers, who have staged strikes in all but four years since the union was created in 1987, had drawn media and public criticism for threatening to walk out despite their relatively high annual wage of 92 million won ($75,866) on average as of 2018, plus benefits and job security.
The deal came with tightened export curbs by Japan threatening to damage Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, weighing on an auto industry already struggling with production cuts and job losses in the face of a slowdown in exports to the United States, Europe and other countries.
US - Automaker - General - Motors - Co
U.S. automaker General Motors Co last year closed one of its South Korean factories and reduced headcounts, while Renault’s South Korean unit is bracing for production cuts.
In a statement issued after the vote results came out, union leaders thanked members for supporting their decision to hold off from staging a strike “considering a U.S.-China trade war, a Korea-Japan economic war and the auto industry’s downturn”.
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