Hyundai Motor, Union End Strike

Agreement to raise the monthly base salary by 5.6% and pay a bonus equivalent to three months' salary.

South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor reached a deal with its union to end a protracted dispute which has cost more than $600 million in lost production, the company said on Sept. 26.

Some 95% of the 45,000 union members voted on the deal covering working conditions and wages and endorsed it by a 54-43 margin.

Since early July workers have been staging sporadic walkouts to press their demands. The union has gone on strike every year but one since it was founded in 1987.

Under the deal, the company will abolish its all-night shift system in September next year. It also agreed to raise the monthly base salary by 5.6% and pay a bonus equivalent to three months' salary. Workers will also receive a lump-sum payment of three million won (almost US$2,600).

The company's second-quarter net profit fell 10.6% year-on-year despite record sales, due to foreign exchange losses on debt repayments. Net profit was 546.9 billion won (US$475 million) in April-June, down from 611.5 billion a year earlier.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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