On Thursday, Union workers at South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp stated, they will be launching a partial strike on November 24 over wages and worries on job security. The development comes even as Kia Motors plans on producing electric vehicles (EV).
From November 24 to 27, Kia Motors union has decided to suspend work, said an official from the union while adding that Kia’s plan to start producing
EV is one of the burrs that need ironing out in the annual wage negotiations.
Starting from July 2021, Kia plans on manufacturing EV model comparable to its K7 sedan at one of the plants in its Hwaseong plant in South Korea.
“Building electric cars requires about 30% less labour than building internal combustion cars, because they require fewer parts, resulting in job losses,” said a union member while adding, “If the shift to electric cars is inevitable, we are asking the management to ensure longer-term job security by having EV module production lines at our factories”.
In September, Kia had said it plans to have eleven EV models by 2025 and by 2029, and aims to have 25% of its global sales from EVs.
Across the globe, automakers are expanding their EV offerings to comply with tougher air-pollution rules that requires them to slash carbon emissions failing which they face stiff fines.
Kia’s union has also asked for a small raise in wages as well as performance pay, which have yet to be accepted by the company, said the union official.
Kia prefers a freeze on wages and has proposed other benefits, including a bonus provided the union continues to work without holding a strike, said an official from the company on the condition of anonymity.
The official preferred the cover of anonymity since negotiations are ongoing.