Kia has navigated around a potential strike by organized labor in Korea. According to Automotive News, the manufacturer joined GM Korea and Ssangyong Motor Company in reaching agreements with the companies' workers for better pay, pending a "yea" vote by employees. Kia workers successfully negotiated a 5.2 percent wage increase as well as bonus pay worth over $6,600 at current conversion rates. In addition, each worker will be granted 80 shares in the company. GM Korea, meanwhile agreed to give its employees a 4.7 percent wage increase as well as record-level bonuses. That move comes on the heels of the automaker's first annual profit since 2007
Kia has a vested interest in keeping its plants operational due to unusually low inventory levels. With Japanese automakers struggling to regain their footing following the disruption to industry caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and resulting tsunami, both Hyundai and Kia are determined to make ground on their rivals. Losing production capacity could have significantly hampered those efforts, costing the automakers untold sums.