After slipping into receivership this past January, Ssangyong Motor Company's problems have only escalated. A court-ordered restructuring of the Korean automaker earlier this year left 976 employees without work. The displaced workers organized an armed sit-in on the Korean automaker on May 21 that has now turned violent.

According to Ward's Auto, Roughly 4,000 non-union workers and management had been back in the company's Pyongtaek, South Korea, SUV plant attempting to get the assembly line back into operation. After less than 36 hours in the facility, more than 900 pipe and firebomb-wielding strikers surrounded the area and demanded they vacate under increasing threats. As the workers left, they were attacked by striking union workers poised outside (many noted that the national police service had withdrawn their riot squad on Saturday night leaving the 4,000 employees unprotected). All told, more than 70 non-union workers were badly hurt and many of those were hospitalized.

Although the company has offered jobs with affiliated companies, or promised future work to dismissed employees, the union immediately rejected the offer and has demanded to negotiate directly with the Korean government. The future doesn't look good. With no plans for the non-union employees to return and a viable restructuring plan unlikely, the Korean courts are scheduled to make a ruling by Sept. 15 whether to allow Ssangyong Motor Co. to keep operating or to liquidate its assets.

[Source: Ward's Auto]