Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific
19 August 2017
South Korea: Hyundai Motor workers continue strike action
Hyundai Motor workers downed tools at its Ulsan plant for two hours at the early and late shifts on Monday in their second partial strike since negotiations failed with management over wage increases and job security. The action followed two-hour strikes during each shift on August 10. They threatened to extend the strikes to four hours each shift on Thursday and Monday.
Auto unions at Hyundai Motor and sister company Kia Motors, which are affiliated to the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU), want the monthly basic wage increased by 154,883 won ($US136) and 30 percent of the company’s 2016 full-year net profit as a bonus. On Wednesday, Hyundai offered workers a bonus of 200 percent of their monthly salary along with a reward of 1 million won.
Some 72 percent of Kia’s 28,200 workforce voted to strike but have not yet taken action.
An overwhelming majority of GM Korea’s 11,000-strong workforce voted in July in favour of striking. The GM union wants the same pay rise as Hyundai and Kia workers, plus 500 percent of their basic wages or 4.25 million won as a bonus. Other demands include the implementation of a salary system instead of hourly wages and an 8+8 shift schedule, with an eight-hour second shift.
Meanwhile, unionised workers at Renault Samsung Motors voted for a walkout following stalled negotiations for increases in pay and benefits.
Burmese factory workers demand higher minimum wage
About 2,000 garment workers from factories in Yangon, Bago and Thanlyin Industrial Zones demonstrated at Hlaing Thayar township on August 13 demanding the daily minimum wage be increased from 3,600 kyat ($US2.63) to 5,600. Protesters complained that they…