General Motors’ South Korean workers will go on a full strike if the automaker chooses to entirely pull out of the country, its union head informed Reuters on Wednesday, adding he does not eliminate the possibility GM may leave.
In the meantime, the 14,000-member union will focus on putting pressure on the automaker to come up with a concrete turnaround plan for its loss-making South Korean operations, Lim Han-taek, stated in an interview.
GM revealed last week it would shut its plant in the city of Gunsan, located in southwest South Korea, by May and decide the future of the remaining three plants in the nation within weeks.
GM has stated it ought to make “meaningful progress” with stakeholders such as the labor union and the government by the end of February, when it will make essential decisions on its next steps.
Lim stated GM’s global operations head, Barry Engle, expressed hopes of concluding this year’s yearly wage talks as soon as possible during a conference previously on Wednesday. However Lim stated it will be challenging to resume contract settlements by mid-March due to the fact that its umbrella union needs to create its demands initially.
“The union will make some concessions, if required, and the government will provide financial support to GM only if it provides a comprehensive turnaround plan,” he stated.
GM has proposed a debt-for-equity swap and fresh investment in its South Korea unit as part of a plan to get financial backing and tax benefits from Seoul, authorities and sources have stated. The South Korean government desires an audit on the business and its “opaque management” before any aid is authorized.
Lim stated the union will go over a complete strike and other choices at a meeting.