GM Daewoo Workers Plan 4th Of July Walkout

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm daewoo workers plan 4th of july walkout

Workers at GM’s South Korean plant will stage a partial walkout, ominously on Independence Day, July 4th, Reuters heard from a union spokesman. The walkout could turn into a full-fledged strike, union spokespeople said. Reports Reuters:

“Last week, 79 percent of union members at GM Korea voted in favor of strike action. Union leadership decided late on Wednesday to launch a partial strike for six hours on July 4, and to refuse overtime and weekend work for now, said Choi Jong-hak, a union spokesman. He said union leadership would decide whether to continue the partial strike depending on progress in the wage talks.”

This is yet another chapter in the suspense novel titled South Korean wage talks. Workers want more money, and they are upset that the next generation Cruze, and possibly the Mokka, will be produced elsewhere.

Four out of 10 Chevrolet-branded vehicles sold globally, and all Chevys sold in Europe come from South Korea. The Korean GM units is a key hub for CKD kits that are shipped to China and many emerging markets for local assembly. GM Korea makes Opel’s Mokka SUVlet, and the Chevy Spark.

The union says “cost per vehicle” is half of that in Australia and lower than in many other countries, Russia, included. Workers fear a slow shift of GM’s production base from South Korea to China. The next generation Cruze will be made in China, others could follow.

From July to September 2012, GM Korea suffered its biggest-ever strike since it was created in 2002, resulting in lost production of 40,000 vehicles. In China, automobile production is relatively safe from industrial action. What’s more, street protests in China are known to shift consumer sentiment away f rom certain other brands.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jun 27, 2013

    GM would be wise in the future not to base entire brands on the development/manufacturing efforts of ONE foreign division, else you lend the foreign divisions generous leverage (as well as being in a poor position to cope with supply disruptions or disaster recovery from said divisions). If there was an earthquake in either Korea or Germany right now, Chevrolet or Buick would be quite SOL.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 27, 2013

    "We are very angry! We will have a walkout! Not gonna tell you when, but it'll be on July 4th, between 8:30 and 9:10a.m.. That will show you!"

    • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Jun 28, 2013

      Do they have barbeque winnies in Korea as well? will they put firecrackers inside the plant and blow it up to Kingdom come?

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Jun 27, 2013

    Arent the USDM Cruze and Spark built here? I thought that was the case. If they have forced overtime and weekends, maybe they should just hire more?

    • VA Terrapin VA Terrapin on Jun 27, 2013

      USDM Cruzes and Sonics are built in America. The USDM Spark is built in South Korea.

  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Jun 28, 2013

    Hey you can't say DAEWOO any longer, it is forbidden by GM people, it is GM KOREA now repeat after me G M K O R E A. Daewoo is a forbidden name that cannot be used anymore, god forbid someone should think for a second that those GM KOREA cars are made in Daewoo plants.