SEOUL, March 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest carmaker by sales, recently asked for the cooperation of its union to accept a cut in benefits as part of a broader move to ride out the unfriendly business environment, the company said Friday.
In a letter sent to the union last Friday, the company asked for cooperation in reducing some worker benefits, such as overseas training programs, resort coupons during summer holidays and expenses for sports events.
But the 51,000-member union balked at the proposal, saying the company’s argument that it is at risk due to deteriorating business environments is nothing new and that it is again calling on workers to make sacrifices.
“The company appears to be intent on skirting fair profit sharing with its workers ahead of the annual wage talks for this year,” the union said in a statement.
In 2017, Hyundai saw its net profit plunge 21 percent to 4.55 trillion won (US$4.3 billion) from 5.72 trillion won a year earlier due to slowing demand for its vehicles in China and the United States.