Kumho Tire workers resume duties in Korea ahead of union election

After more than a month of strike action, unionised workers at Kumho Tire’s three factories in South Korea are preparing to return to work. However this move doesn’t signal an end to the industrial action that is estimated to have already cost the tyre maker around 150 billion won (£82.1 million) – Yonhap News reports that the walkout has only been temporarily suspended pending the election of a new union leader.

“We put a temporarily hold on the walkout because we cannot continue the strike while holding an election for the new leadership simultaneously,” a union official told the news agency. The incumbent leader’s term ends on 30 September, and the course the union will take going forwards will be determined by his successor. The union is negotiating terms for compensating the cut in salary and bonuses that workers took during Kumho’s debt workout programme.

Unionised workers began their strike on 17 August after failing to agree with Kumho management on the adoption of a wage peak system that would allow them to extend their retirement age in exchange for a capped salary. This action led to the cessation of production at Kumho’s Gwangju factory on 6 September.

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