Hyundai Motor workers agree wage deal, ending strikes

Workers from Hyundai Motor's labour union shout slogans during a partial strike at the company's main factory in Ulsan, south-east of Seoul, on Aug 20, 2013. Hyundai Motor workers have agreed a wage deal, ending a series of strikes that have cost Sou
Workers from Hyundai Motor's labour union shout slogans during a partial strike at the company's main factory in Ulsan, south-east of Seoul, on Aug 20, 2013. Hyundai Motor workers have agreed a wage deal, ending a series of strikes that have cost South Korea's biggest automaker one trillion won (S$1.15 billion) in lost production. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - Hyundai Motor workers have agreed a wage deal, ending a series of strikes that have cost South Korea's biggest automaker one trillion won (S$1.15 billion) in lost production.

A majority of Hyundai Motor's 46,000 unionised workers opted to accept the deal in a vote late Monday.

It includes a pay rise of roughly five percent, a one-off bonus of five million won plus three-and-a-half months of salary per worker, performance-based bonuses and medical and social benefits.

Hyundai workers began partial strike action on Aug 20, halting factory operations for between four and eight hours over 10 days, and holding back production of more than 50,000 vehicles worth 1.02 trillion won.

"It is fortunate that we concluded a deal without any more disruption," union spokesman Kwon Oh Il told the Yonhap news agency.

Strikes have been an ongoing issue at Hyundai. Stoppages last year cost the company about 82,000 vehicles worth 1.7 trillion won in lost production.

Worldwide, Hyundai sold 3.1 million vehicles in the first eight months of this year, a 12 percent increase from a year earlier.

But domestic sales have fallen following free-trade agreements with Europe and the United States that have made foreign-made cars more affordable.

Hyundai's exports have also faced renewed pressure from Japanese rivals and a weaker yen.

Monday's agreement deal did not extend to Hyundai-affiliated Kia Motors Corp., where negotiations on a separate wage deal continue.