Hyundai's labor union has taken a note from the Teamster playbook and is attempting to strong-arm the automaker. During a ceremony to celebrate the new year, union members ganged up on Hyundai's president and discharged fire extinguishers. The ceremony came screeching to a halt with the president suffering a facial wound in the melee. The hubub arose over bonus pay. Workers were given a bonus equivalent to 100 percent of their normal pay. The extra pay was directly correlated to how close they came to hitting their production target. In this case, 1.62 millon cars was 98 percent of the goal. Nice and tidy, eh? Not so fast.

If labor had managed to eke out that last 2 percent of volume, they would have found 150 percent tucked in their envelopes. Unfortunately, the union isn't acknowledging that the reason for the near miss was their own doing. 2006 was rife with labor unrest for Hyundai. The unions kept striking in an effort to increase pay, while the Won climbed against the dollar, putting Hyundai in a bind between labor's outstretched hand and a vehicle that was suddenly more expensive than its competition. Disregarding the slip in market share, Hyundai's union kept ringing the bell for more pay, all the while forcing losses on Hyundai. Hyundai even lowered the production target to accomodate labor's inability to attain the original number. Hey, we'd love to get paid more for doing less, but demanding a bonus you didn't earn seems counterintuitive to us.

[Source: Digital Chosunilbo]