June 25, 2018

GM Korea head meets labor union for wage talks

PUBLISHED : September 13, 2017 - 17:06

UPDATED : September 13, 2017 - 17:06

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[THE INVESTOR] Amid rumors that GM Korea may pull out from the country, the new head of GM Korea Kaher Kazem held his first wage negotiation talks with the company’s unionized workers, the firm said on Sept. 13.

The latest negotiation came some 50 days after the previous one held on July 24.


CEO of GM Korea Kaher Kazem. GM Korea.

The union has been pushing for a 154,000 won ($136.50) rise in basic salaries and for bonuses amounting to 500 percent of ordinary wages.

The company, on the other hand, is sticking to a 50,000 won rise in base pay and a 10.5 million won bonus. 

Ahead of officially starting his post, Kazem met with the labor union on Aug. 22. He said then, “I understand that GM Korea has produced an accumulated 1,000 units. Efforts will be made to improve the company and for GM Korea to start making profit.”

GM’s unionized workers staged a four hourlong partial strike on Sept. 5, when Kazem visited the headquarters to meet with GM Korea employees. 

During the meeting, Kazem emphasized that all employees have to change to maintain competitiveness for a sustainable future, as the company has seen losses for three years in a row.

GM Korea posted a 634.1 billion won ($562.3 million) deficit last year, totaling an accumulated loss of 1.9 trillion won over the past three years, the company said. 

Between January and August this year, GM Korea sold 361,716 units, down 7.1 percent on-year. 

As part of efforts to calm rumors of the company exiting Korea, Kazem met briefly with reporters earlier this month to highlight the importance of the Korean market. 

GM’s appointment of Kazem, who previously led the withdrawal of GM India, as the new head of Korea alongside GM’s global restructuring efforts have raised the possibility of the unit ending operations here. 

By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (

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