Renault Samsung Motors said on May 7 it plans to temporarily halt operations at its only plant later this month amid an extended dispute with its labor union over wages.
The carmaker plans to suspend the operation of the Busan plant, 450 kilometers south of Seoul, for several days in late May, due to the plant’s declining utilization rate, a company spokesman said.
“But the company has not decided on the timeframe for the temporary suspension,” he said.
Earlier, Renault Samsung suspended the plant’s operations from April 29 to May 1 as it failed to reach any agreement over wages and working conditions for the past six months. The union staged 62 rounds of strikes from October through April 19, resulting in production losses of over 14,320 vehicles, according to the automaker.
The company wants to maintain a certain output level at the plant by securing export models from its parent company, while the union is more focused on increasing wages and reducing labor intensity.
In particular, the company is sticking to its plan to outsource the manufacturing of vehicles, if needed, and relocate assembly line workers against their will. The union is strongly opposed to the idea, saying outsourcing will result in job cuts.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)