UPDATE : 2018.11.14 WED 17:34
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Hyundai workers to continue strikes next week

Unionized workers at Hyundai Motor Co. will stage a walk out next week for higher wages and bonuses, as the carmaker has not accepted their demands, the union said Friday.

Hyundai workers plan to go on strike for eight hours a day Monday through Tuesday at the carmaker's five plants in Ulsan, about 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the union said in a statement.

Production losses resulting from industrial action at Hyundai Motor's domestic plants reached the equivalent of 43,000 vehicles, or 890 billion won (US$817 million), as of Dec. 7, according to the company.

Hyundai's 51,000-member union has been conducting partial strikes all this week, but the company has not given updated figures, saying it wants to reach an agreement next week on this year's wage talks.

In this photo taken Dec. 7, 2017, and provided courtesy of the Hyundai Motor union, Hyundai Motor workers stage a rally demanding higher wages at the carmaker's plant in Ulsan, 410 km southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

In this photo taken Dec. 7, 2017, and provided courtesy of the Hyundai Motor union, Hyundai Motor workers stage a rally demanding higher wages at the carmaker's plant in Ulsan, 410 km southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap) In this photo taken Dec. 7, 2017, and provided courtesy of the Hyundai Motor union, Hyundai Motor workers stage a rally demanding higher wages at the carmaker's plant in Ulsan, 410 km southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Hyundai's union has said it will enter an "extended fight" against the company's "insincere and arrogant" attitude toward it. The company has balked at the union's demands, citing an unfriendly business environment.

The union has demanded Hyundai raise workers' basic monthly wages by 154,883 won (US$142) and offer a bonus of 30 percent of the company's 2016 full-year net profit of 5.72 trillion won.

The company, however, offered to raise basic salaries by 42,879 won per month and to provide bonuses worth 200 percent of basic pay plus 1 million won. When that offer was rejected by the union, the company suggested bonuses of 250 percent of basic pay plus 1.5 million won in extra compensation as a revised offer.

Labor strikes have plagued the country's biggest carmaker for decades. Its workers have walked out every year since 1986 except for 1994, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Hyundai Motor currently operates seven plants in Korea, including five in the port city of Ulsan. It also has production facilities in the United States, Europe and emerging countries such as China, India and Russia.

In the January-September period, net profit fell 30 percent to 3.26 trillion won from 4.65 trillion won a year earlier due to lack of new models and sharp sales declines in China in the wake of a bilateral diplomatic row over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koeapost.com

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