Skip to main content

Hyundai and labor unions reach deal to end costly strikes

By Paula Hancocks and KJ Kwon, CNN
September 5, 2012 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Union officials claimed this is the first time shifts have changed at Hyundai in 45 years.
Union officials claimed this is the first time shifts have changed at Hyundai in 45 years.
  • Strike at Hyundai forced it to cut production by more than 80,000 vehicles
  • Hyundai has agreed to abolish overnight shifts and increase basic pay, bonuses
  • Hyundai: 'Our priority now is to normalize production and fulfill customers' expectations'

Seoul (CNN) -- Hyundai Motor's labor union voted to accept a wage deal with the company Monday, ending four months of negotiations.

The strikes, in July and August, were very costly to South Korea's largest automaker, cutting production by more than 80,000 vehicles. This cost it 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion), Hyundai said in a statement.

One of the key issues at stake was night shifts. Hyundai has agreed to abolish overnight shifts and will rearrange the working day from March next year into two shifts, the latter ending at 1.10 a.m.

The moved was welcomed by union officials.

Spokesperson Kwon Oh-Il told CNN, "This is the first time shifts have changed in 45 years.

"We've been pushing to change this working shift system for the past ten years. Union members will have more time to spend with their family and can invest more time in their daily lives."

The union also expressed hope the deal struck could signal future changes for other industries as well.

As part of Monday's deal, Hyundai agreed to a 5.4% increase in basic pay, a 350% bonus increase and a one-time payment to each employee of 9.6 million Korean won ($8,468).

"Hyundai Motor management is pleased that the labor union members approved the agreements made last week, putting an end to the strikes," the auto giant said in its statement.

"Our priority now is to normalize production and fulfill customers' expectations."

Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.