|▲ GM Korea Gunsan plant assembly line. (provided by Gunsan City Government)|
GM Korea on Feb. 13 announced its decision to shut down the Gunsan plant by the end of May this year. The abrupt shutdown announcement was released in a situation that Barry Engle, GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International, who recently visited Korea to press for the government financial aid. On the same day, a court ruling was made that GM Korea is the employer of subcontract workers working at the Gunsan plant and Bupyeong plant.
GM Korea, which is reportedly demanding the drastic downgrade of wages and working conditions, and its labor union affiliated to the Korean Metal Workers' Union lately started their negotiation process on wages and working conditions. However, concerns are raised that the commenced collective bargaining would be allegedly a General Motors' tactic to obtain various government financial aid and at the same time save the labor costs through the union concession with the intimidation of the plant closure.
Kaher Kazen, CEO of GM Korea said in the letter sent to the employees on Feb. 13, "GM Korea has recorded serious losses for the past several years and came to a conclusion to urgently take a crucial measure to restructure the company for its profitability and sustainability. As the first step, GM Korea decided to suspend the vehicle production of the Gunsan plant and shut down the assembly line by the end of May this year."
reported by Yang Ou-ram
translated by Kim Sung-jin
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