Kia Motors workers in South Korea to stage a partial strike over wages and electric vehicle plans

© Reuters. The Kia Motors logo is seen during the 2019 Seoul Auto Show in Goyang

SEOUL (Reuters) – Unionized workers at Kia Motors Corp (KS 🙂 in South Korea will launch a partial strike on November 24 over wages and job safety concerns as the automaker pursues plans to produce electric vehicles ( EV), the Kia union said. Thursday.

South Korea’s No. 2 automaker’s union decided to suspend work for part of the day from November 24 to 27, a union official said, adding that Kia’s plan to introduce electric vehicle production is one of the thorny issues in the annual salary agreement. Talks.

Kia has laid out plans to produce an electric vehicle model comparable to its K7 sedan at one of the factories at its Hwaseong plant in South Korea starting in July next year, the union official said.

“Building electric cars requires approximately 30% less labor than building internal combustion cars, because they require fewer parts, resulting in job losses,” said a Kia union member.

“If the switch to electric cars is inevitable, we ask management to ensure longer-term job security by having EV module production lines in our factories,” the member added.

Kia said in September that it plans to have eleven electric vehicles by 2025 and have 25% of its global sales in electric vehicles by 2029.

Automakers around the world are expanding their production of electric cars to comply with stricter air pollution rules that require them to cut carbon emissions or face severe fines.

Kia’s union also requested a salary increase and performance pay, but the company has not accepted them, the union official said.

Kia wants to freeze wages but has proposed a bonus and other benefits if the union does not go on strike, said a company official who requested anonymity while negotiations are ongoing.

The labor action at Kia comes even as the union of affiliate Hyundai Motor (KS 🙂 avoided a strike amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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