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Hyundai union threatens strike as Kia union turns back wage proposal

Hyundai and Kia are having a great 2011 so far, with sales numbers reaching new heights seemingly every month. The summer sun might disappear, however, as storm clouds appear to be looming on the South Korean horizon. According to Reuters, Hyundai's home market management is working with the worker's union to negotiate a new wage deal. Talks are reportedly not going very well, and the union has walked away from the table ahead of a final round of discussion before everyone breaks for a holiday. Upon their return from vacation, the union officials have stated that they are ready to move to a strike if Hyundai doesn't compromise on the wage talks.

It's a similar story at sister brand Kia, as union leaders have vetoed a new wage deal. Many are reportedly surprised at this move, since the deal included record bonuses, a 5.17 percent salary raise and stock. The issue, however, doesn't seem to be focused on the financial figures but rather over a proposed two-shift system.

For the past two years, Hyundai and Kia have successfully negotiated labor meetings so as to avoid strikes. There is still time left to keep that streak alive, but it appears that serious compromise will be required on both sides of the table.

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