ULSAN, South Korea-- Unionized workers at Hyundai Motor Co. decided Thursday to stage a partial strike next week as talks over a wage deal with the company hit a snag.

Union members of South Korea's largest automaker said they plan to hold a two- to three-hour strike at major production lines for four consecutive days from Dec. 5 as they and management have yet to narrow the gap over wages and other terms.

It would mark the first strike in about four months, according to the union.

"It is regrettable that the union has decided to stage a strike again when the company is facing business setbacks," Hyundai Motor said. "The labor union needs to show its resolve in making wage deals."

Earlier this week, Hyundai workers temporarily suspended all assembly lines at the company's No. 1 plant in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul due to a disagreement over the expanded production of a small sport utility vehicle.

Hyundai Motor posted a net profit of 939.2 billion won (US$863.2 million) in the third quarter, down 16 percent from a year ago, due mainly to sharp declines in China sales.

Source: Yonhap News Agency