Unionists at Hyundai Motor Co., the nation's
largest automaker, tentatively agreed to a wage deal with the management, union officials said Thursday, marking the company's second year without a labor strike.
The agreement was reached late Wednesday in Ulsan, the company's largest local plant located 414 kilometers south of Seoul. The deal will be voted upon Friday by 45,000 union members.
Negotiators approved a 79,000 won (US$65.41) increase in basic pay for next year, a 300 percent bonus raise, and other incentives including distribution of 30 Hyundai Motor shares to each worker, officials said. They had agreed to a freeze in basic pay for last year.
"Although there were issues between the union and management, we put utmost efforts to narrow differences to reach a final proposal," said Chang
Kyu-ho, a union spokesman. "We are waiting for a wise choice by union members."
The move by one of the most militant labor unions in the country came after more moderate leaders were elected last year.
The new leader, Lee Kyung-hoon, was critical of his predecessors' factional approach and vowed to embrace and talk with employees.
"We prepared this year's agreement in consideration of the domestic and foreign environment and company's ability to pay," Lee said in a union newsletter. "A strike is the union's weapon and life, but it should be the
The automaker controls more than 75 percent of the South Korean auto market with its affiliate Kia Motors Corp.
Every year since its establishment in 1987, the union has either been at odds with management over wage negotiations or gone on strike except for in 1994.