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Gunsan plant, General Motors, South Korea

General Motors factory worker in South Korea commits suicide

A 47-year-old worker at a South Korean plant of General Motors was found dead in a suspected suicide after submitting for a voluntary redundancy program of the U.S. automaker’s ailing unit, union officials and police stated on Sunday.

Automaker plans to close its Gunsan plant by May and nearly 2,500 workers, or about 15 percent of the staff, have applied for the redundancy package provided as part of a restructuring of its tasks.

The death of the worker in his home was reported to police around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the suspected suicide is currently being investigated, a police official stated.

If proven, it would be the first suicide reported from the plant ahead of the scheduled shutdown.

A representative for GM Korea stated it was also looking into the incident.

In March, GM’s South Korean union did not demand a pay increase and bonuses for the first time during annual wage talks, but instead asked it to give a future production plan and job security.

The firm has suggested a base wage freeze and no bonuses this year, besides a suspension of some employee benefits, including school tuition for children of employees.

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