SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — Unionized workers at GM Korea Co. agreed Friday to accept the company’s revised wage proposals amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
GM Korea workers voted in favor of the second tentative wage and collective agreement deal in a two-day vote that ended on Friday. The workers rejected the first tentative deal earlier this month.
In the second deal, GM Korea agreed to drop a damage suit filed against the union for strike-driven output losses and provide 4 million won (US$3,600) per worker in performance-based pay and bonuses within this year, a company spokesman said over the phone.
The company and the union have had 26 rounds of negotiations since July, and union members staged several rounds of partial strikes starting Oct. 30, demanding an end to a wage freeze and a new vehicle production plan at its Bupyeong plant in Incheon, west of Seoul.
The South Korean unit of General Motors Co. said it will maintain production of the Trax compact SUV and the Malibu midsize sedan, currently being assembled at the No. 2 Bupyeong plant, as long as possible.
Partial strikes cost GM Korea about 25,000 vehicles in lost production. The company already suffered production losses of 60,000 vehicles in the first half due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Detroit carmaker has three Korean plants — two in Bupyeong and one in Changwon — whose combined output capacity reaches 630,000 units a year.
GM owns a 76 percent stake in GM Korea, and the state-run Korea Development Bank and SAIC Motor Corp. hold a 17 percent stake and 6 percent stake, respectively, in the Korean unit.
From January to November, its sales fell 15 percent on-year to 321,736 vehicles from 378,408 units in the year-ago period.