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South Korea prompts General Motors union to reach wage deal

South Korea on Friday prompted General Motors’s local subsidiary and labor union to gain a wage deal swiftly, adding the government will be able to talk about support for the money-losing unit on condition of an agreement.

General Motors, which in February declared it would shut one of its South Korean factories, stated it will file for bankruptcy should the union reject to make concessions by April 20. The automaker has also asked for financial support from the government.

The recent comments, made by the industry minister during a meeting with automaker’s Korea’s CEO, came as tension escalates after the automaker was not able to make bonus payments agreed in 2017 and planned for Friday.

Union members protested on Thursday, going into the CEO’s office and removing and breaking chairs and desks, revealed a CCTV video clip from broadcaster TV Chosun and confirmed by GM Korea.

“Should the industrial conflict seen yesterday and today happen again, it will be hard for (GM Korea) to gain public support and government support,” stated Paik Un-gyu, who is a minister of trade, industry and energy.

GM’s union accepted the company’s demand for a wage freeze and no bonuses for 2018, but is against any proposal to cut benefits and its plan to shut down the Gunsan plant.

“We appreciate the ministry’s interest and encouragement,” a GM Korea spokesman stated.

A union official made no comments, apart from saying discussions with the minister and the union leader were ongoing.

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