Seoul – Union members at Kumho Tire Co. in South Korea have ended their month-long strike to elect a new leader, news reports from Seoul suggest.
Korean news agency Yonhap reported on 20 Sept that the strike, which started on 17 Aug, had been suspended as a leadership election was scheduled for 30 Sept, when the current union leader’s tenure is over.
According to the Korea JoongAng daily, as the strikes prolonged, Kumho shut down its production lines at its three plants in Gwangju; Gokseong, South Jeolla; and Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggion 7 Sept and locked out its workers.
The move, however, prompted a huge rally at the Gwangsan plant in Gwangju which turned violent.
Following the decision on 20 Sept, however, Kumho reportedly reopened its production lines to allow workers to return to work as of 21 Sept.
Busines Korea reported on 14 Sept that the walkout incurred an estimated loss of 150 billion won (€113 million) for Kumho, while the average loss for each worker is expected to exceed 4.2 million won.
Union members went on a strike after they failed to agree with the management on adopting a wage-peak system.
The suggested wage peak system allows employees to accept a reduced salary in exchange for working until an extended retirement age set by the company, Yonhap said.