Tens of thousands of unionized workers of South Korea's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. staged a partial strike on Monday again ahead of crucial negotiations with management over their latest dispute over wages, officials said.
The officials from the union and management said their leaders plan to sit down for a second round of negotiations on Tuesday to try to narrow their differences over the 46,000-strong labor union's demand that calls for, among other things, a performance-based bonus amounting to 30 percent of the company's net profit last year, which reached 9 trillion won (US$8 billion).
The union also called for an allowance of 10 million won each for workers' children who choose to seek employment instead of going to college, as well as a hike of 130,498 won in basic salaries and a one-year extension in retirement age to 61.
A company official handling labor issues said he expects the company to make additional offers on top of the ones presented in the first full-scale negotiations held last week.
The planned offers "are designed to work out the dispute, but it remains unclear whether the two sides will make any progress," the official said. He did not give further details and asked for anonymity, citing company policy.
Union spokesman Kwon Oh-il said he could not predict whether the two sides will be able to work out their differences on Tuesday.
The workers in the morning shift walked off the job for four hours earlier in the day, while those in the afternoon shift plan to down tools between 8:10 p.m. and around midnight, according to a Hyundai official.
It marked the fourth time that Hyundai's union workers staged partial strikes since early last week when the state-run National Labor Relations Commission failed to mediate the labor dispute.
Hyundai workers launched a partial strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, costing the carmaker 175.1 billion won in lost production, according to the company.
Labor disputes at Hyundai Motor have been near-annual events in the past two decades. Its workers have downed their tools every year since 1986 except for 1994, 2009, 2010 and 2011. A strike last year cost the carmaker some 1.7 trillion won in lost production.