Two former workers of Ssangyong Motor Co. left for India on Friday to rally international support for their reinstatement from the country where the automaker's owner group is located, industry sources said Friday.
Ssangyong Motor cut over 2,000 jobs in 2009 through a voluntary retirement program after it was put under court receivership in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. About 180 workers were also fired, many of whom filed a lawsuit against the automaker, demanding they be reinstated.
The automaker based in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, was purchased by India's Mahindra & Mahindra in 2011.
The two former Ssangyong workers -- Lee Chang-keun and Yoon Choong-ryeol -- left for India's southern city of Kochi earlier in the day where the International Trade Union Conference (ITUC) is to be held, the union said.
"They will participate in the gathering, which deals with global labor issues and let (the participants) know about the dismissed workers," one of the sources in the labor community said. "We will push for a meeting with the ITUC and adoption of an ITUC-signed statement that calls for tackling the labor issue."
He expected the ITUC to throw support behind the former Ssangyong workers seeking to get back to work.
The two representatives plan to share information on the updated situation of the dismissed workers with local civic and labor organizations.
There are no reported plans for them to meet with any officials from Mahindra & Mahindra, whose headquarters is located in Mumbai. They will likely stay in Kochi until the ITUC ends early next week.
In January, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra visited Seoul to join a new car launch event and expressed his sympathy with the hardship of the workers who had to leave the company, adding that Ssangyong will consider re-hiring them if the company turns a steady profit.