Last month, GM CEO Dan Akerson said that GM might move production away from South Korea if tensions with North Korea escalate. Korea labor unions were not amused, saying that Akerson was using the crisis as a pretext to gain the upper hand in upcoming labor talks.
Last week in Detroit, Akerson told GM’s South Korean union leader that he won’t pull GM out of South Korea. He also said he is unhappy with the Korean union, and that he will bring up the matter this week with South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, when the “Iron Lady” will visit the U.S. this week.
Now, the union is fuming.
“We are upset by his remarks. We did not go all the way to the U.S. to hear that,” union spokesman Choi Jong-hak told Reuters.
More than four out of 10 Chevrolet vehicles sold globally, are made in South Korea.
In January, rumors about GM shifting production to underutilized European factories made the union threaten “war” if GM does that. Knowing the militant Korean unions, this is not just a figure of speech.