South Korea Hyundai Strike

According to Reuters, South Korea's labor unions may have reached a tentative deal with Hyundai following a compromise between the two sides on wages. Workers have staged a number of stoppages since August 20, which have cost the South Korean giant 1.02 trillion won – around $1.1B US. It also represents just over 50,000 units of production. That vehicle total sounds like a lot, but it's a small enough figure that Hyundai can apparently catch up with weekend and overtime shifts. We'd wager that this is why US inventories haven't been hit quite so hard aside from the battering already taking place. The proposal will now go before the union's rank and file.

If ratified, the new agreement will see workers getting a 5.14-percent raise in base salaries, along with 8.5-million-won (roughly $7,800) bonuses. Those concessions are a far cry compared to what the union was initially demanding, though. Early proposals included a 56.25-gram gold medal for each employee (worth about $2,400) and a 10-million won bonus (about $9,100) for employees whose children chose not to attend college. The union also sought a bonus worth two months' salary for workers that have been with the company for over 40 years, but this was negotiated down to a flat rate of six-million won ($5,464).

Based on Reuters' report, the work stoppages must have taken a real toll on Hyundai - its domestic sales dropped 20 percent last month, while exports were down nine percent. Those startling figures must have put some fire under the Hyundai bargaining team.