Kia workers OK wage deal without strike for 1st time in 10 years

SEOUL– Unionized workers at Kia Corp., South Korea’s second-biggest carmaker, voted Friday to accept the company’s wage proposals without a strike for the first time in a decade.

Kia said 68 percent of 26,945 workers voted in favor of wage offers that include an increase of 75,000 won (US$64.30) in monthly basic pay, two months of wages in performance-based pay and cash bonuses worth 5.8 million won. More than 1,600 out of the 28,604-member union abstained.

But Kia rejected the union’s demand to extend the retirement age to 65 from the current 60 and reinstate fired workers.

The company and the member union reached a tentative wage deal early this week without staging a strike amid the pandemic.

It is the first time for Kia to sign a wage deal without industrial actions.

They are set to sign the wage agreement Monday.

Last month, its bigger affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. and its union signed this year’s wage deal without strikes for the third consecutive year.

Hyundai Motor and Kia form Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automotive group.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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