Think the UAW is the only labor union that's angling to give General Motors headaches in the near term? Guess again. GM employees in South Korea's highly unionized and strike-happy workforce have officially approved a strike action against the automaker as labor talks are set to begin.
Of GM's 14,000 workers in South Korea, 69 percent approved the strike action, which will mark the fourth consecutive year, provided a deal can't be made. Workers are demanding a revamp of a 60-year-old wage structure, according to Reuters, and are also pushing for increases in production, despite the fact that GM is pulling the Chevrolet brand out of Europe (nearly every Bowtie in Europe is assembled by South Korean workers).
The push to renegotiate the wage structure is part of a government decision, where the country's supreme court ruled that fixed bonuses should be counted as part of the regular salary, according to Reuters. Workers want GM to comply with this agreement, largely because it will lead to an increase in base-pay-influenced things like overtime and severance pay.
As of right now, this "yes" vote doesn't mean there will be a strike – it simply means the option is available to workers, should talks break down. For GM's part, it's stressing this fact while also pointing out that a fourth consecutive strike action could have a negative impact on the work force.
GM's South Korean CEO, Sergio Rocha, pleaded with workers to "stop this vicious cycle before it is too late."
Of course, we'll stay with this one, should anything new develop.