Anchor: Union members in the South Korean automotive industry are staging a battle against the government-led Gwangju job project. Workers at Hyundai Motor and affiliated Kia Motors on Thursday staged a partial strike, leaving their factory shifts early.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: The Gwangju job project gets its name from the South Korean city, where the local government is trying to arrange to have workers receive less pay in exchange for a higher number of jobs. The project is modeled on a similar campaign carried out by Volkswagen in Germany.
In an effort to boost employment, Hyundai Motor and the Gwangju government have been in talks to build a plant in the southwestern city and hire up to 12-thousand people.
Workers would be paid only half the wages auto workers get at the automotive group's main Ulsan plant but the central government and local authorities said they would make up for lower wages with housing, education and medical care.
Hyundai management walked out of the deal with the city on Wednesday, but union members say the government can press management at any time to renegotiate terms.
Workers say they will stage additional walkouts if there are signs of negotiations being renewed between Hyundai and the city government.
Hyundai Motor is considering legal action against the labor unions for staging what the company describes as an illegal strike Thursday, saying the walkout cost the automaker tens of billions of won.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : YONHAP News]