Kia plant in South Korea prepares a strikeNovember 20, 2020
Kia Motors workers in South Korea will go on a partial strike on November 24 due to insufficient wages and concerns about employment, the Kia union said.
Employees decided to suspend work from November 24 to 27, a spokesman for the association said. He also noted that Kia’s plan to increase production of electric vehicles is one of the burning issues in the annual wage agreement, writes Reuters.
Kia previously announced plans to produce an electric vehicle model comparable in size to the K7 sedan (offered as the Cadenza in select markets) at its Hwaseong, South Korea plant starting in July 2021.
“Manufacturing electric vehicles requires about 30% less labor than manufacturing vehicles with combustion engines because they require fewer parts, resulting in job losses,” explained a Kia unionist.
The workers’ position is simple: if the transition to electric vehicles is inevitable, then Kia should place the main capacities for the production of components for them in its factories – to ensure the long-term employment of its employees.
In September, Kia announced plans that by 2025 the company will have 11 electric trains in its range, and by 2029, such vehicles will account for 25% of its global sales.
The Kia union also demanded a wage increase and bonus for work, but the company did not accept the demand.
In September 2020, Hyundai-Kia announced a salary freeze for the first time in 11 years. Before they were indexed and increased annually. According to Kia’s official figures, the average salary at the company’s plants in South Korea in 2019 was 86 million won per year. Thus, the employee receives 717 thousand won per month. The union will not stop at refusing to raise wages and will continue to demand indexation.
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