The labor union of Renault Samsung Motors held a full strike on the 4th. The company has implemented a’partial workplace closure’ so that only those who intend to work can enter the workplace. Workers who disagreed with the strike are assembling vehicles at the Busan plant that day. The strike participation rate was only about 25%. Provided by Renault Samsung
Another strike is striking throughout the manufacturing industry. Voices to refrain from strikes to overcome the Corona 19 crisis have disappeared. Hyundai Heavy Industries and Renault Samsung Motors have been struggling with strikes from early on, and some conglomerates’ unions are launching an offensive saying that they will enter the performance event if the desired wage increase is not achieved.
According to the industry on the 4th, the Kia union demanded to increase the base salary of 99,000 won per month (excluding senior salary increase, about 4.3%) and pay 30% of last year’s operating profit (2.66 trillion won) as bonus in this year’s wage agreement negotiations. Plan. It means to ask for an incentive wage of about 20 million won per person.
In addition to the draft that the union explained to the union members ahead of the delegates meeting on the 10th, it included △extending the retirement age of 65, introducing a 35-hour work week, and △paid lunch hours. It is pointed out that it is unrealistic, but the union is poised to make it happen by any means.
Renault Samsung’s union declared that it would hold a general strike on this day. When the company confronted their decision to strike a full-day strike with partial closure of their jobs, they said they would continue the strike until the company withdrew it.
The union of Hyundai Heavy Industries is also striking. Even companies that have not had a strike until now, such as Samsung Display, are showing signs of strike as wage negotiations break down.
An economic official said, “The union’s’payment increase bill’ arrived earlier than the end of the Corona 19 crisis,” and said, “Korean companies may miss the opportunity to leap forward in the post-corona era.”
Kia union demands a 65-year-old retirement/paid lunch break for 20 million won incentives
Employees of Renault Samsung’s union “we need to raise wages” are also concerned
The labor union of Renault Samsung Motors announced on the 4th that it would hold a general strike. This means that it will strike until the company withdraws its decision to close the part of the job. When the union went on a full strike on this day, the company confronted with a partial closure of jobs in which only employees who were willing to work were sent to the business site (Busan factory). This is to prevent strong union members from interfering with the operation of the line. As the Renault Samsung union pulled out the general strike card, the conflict between Renault Samsung’s labor and management is likely to prolong.
80% of Renault Samsung employees go to work despite strike guidelines
The’union risk’ in the automobile industry is increasing. Although there are many barriers to overcome, such as the shutdown of factories due to the shortage of semiconductor supply, there is an atmosphere that demands for a significant wage increase will continue. Some unions are opposed to restructuring, which is essential for the company’s survival. Some are concerned that automakers’ unions may strike one after another this year.
Renault Samsung’s union is raising the level of strikes. The executives’ strike, some departmental strikes, partial strikes, and an all-out strike, and finally a general strike indefinitely, were decided to be enforced. It was because they were unable to narrow their disagreements in the 2020 wage and collective bargaining negotiations. The union is demanding an increase in the base salary of 71,687 won and the payment of 7 million won in encouragement. In 2020 and 2021, the company proposed a freeze of basic salary, 5 million won in encouragement, reinstatement of 290 employees on rotational leave, and return to their original state with two shifts (day and night shift). It is explained that there is no room to raise the basic salary because it made an operating loss last year.
As the union strikes repeatedly, there are voices of concern both inside and outside the company. In particular, many point out that if the XM3 European quantity is not produced on time, the Renault headquarters can move this quantity to another plant. Dominic Signora, CEO of Renault Samsung, said in a statement that day, “If we miss the time, we will miss the opportunity to show our car, and the future will become more opaque.” Criticized. He also emphasized, “Now is the time to face the problems of reality that are facing you, rather than short-term profits.”
Even among union members, there are voices of concern over the repeated strikes of the leadership. On that day, about 80% (about 1,500 people) of the employees of the Busan plant came to work and worked according to the union’s full strike guidelines. In the industry, as Renault Samsung’s labor and management are confronted with a total strike and job closure, it is predicted that the bargaining agreement will not take place for a while.
Labor union that says “incentive pay over 10 million won is different”
The unions of Hyundai Motor Company, Kia, and GM Korea have issued a declaration of war saying that their wages should be raised significantly this year. The draft request for a labor union prepared by the Kia union included a monthly increase of 99,000 won (about 4.3%) in base salary and 30% of last year’s operating profit (2.665 billion won) as bonuses. In order to accept this, Kia must pay employees incentives worth 20 million won per person. Although it is pointed out that it is an unreasonable demand in a situation where the shutdown of the factory is inevitable due to the semiconductor supply shortage, the union argues that “the basic pay was frozen last year, so this year it should be compensated.”
There is also an “unmatched demand” to extend the retirement age from the current 60 to 65 and to recruit new personnel. An industry insider pointed out, “If we move on to the electric vehicle era, we need to reduce the existing manpower, and many global automakers do not refuse to undergo artificial restructuring,” he said. “In this situation, it makes no sense to increase the retirement age and hire new personnel.”
The union also plans to insist on reducing working hours to 35 hours a week and paying lunch breaks. The request also included reinstatement of the dismissal and an increase in allowances for some positions and positions. The Hyundai Motors union is also planning to come up with a similar level of demand for labor agreements. From the beginning of this year, the Hyundai Motors union has been raising its voice, saying, “The part that was made concessions last year must be received in this negotiation.”
The GM Korea union decided to raise the base salary this year by 99,000 won per month, and request 150% of the normal wage and 4 million won as bonuses and encouragement. In fact, the union has already confirmed a request for a lump sum of 10 million won per person. GM Korea has been in the red for seven years. Industry insiders said, “It is true that the automakers’ unions refrained from strikes last year, and made some concessions in bargaining agreements,” and said, “It is highly likely to go on an unreasonable strike this year to prevent internal backlash.”
The union of Ssangyong Motors, which is in legal management (corporate rehabilitation procedure), is persisting that it cannot agree to the restructuring of manpower even though it will participate in the pain sharing. In the industry, in order for Ssangyong Motor to revive, it needs to reduce its size and increase its productivity, but it is pointed out that if it is pushed back by the union backlash, it could fall into the’worst situation’.
Byung-wook Do/ Il-gyu Kim Reporter