Hyundai meets union today after boycott over pay

SEOUL (Bloomberg) -- Hyundai Motor Co.’s management is meeting workers today to resolve differences over wage demands after losing two days of extra weekend shifts to a boycott.

Management plans to unveil its proposals to workers during two days of meetings starting today, said Hwang Ki Tae, the spokesman for the union. Workers are demanding that bonuses be counted as part of their base wages.

“The union will decide what action it will take next, following the talks,” Hwang said over the phone Sunday. Hyundai doesn’t have “any comments” on what the company is offering to its workers on wages, it said in an e-mailed response to a Bloomberg News query.

While workers at South Korea’s biggest carmaker will do their regular eight-hour shifts, they have decided not to take on any additional duties during the wage talks, Hwang said. The strike on Aug. 23 was estimated to have cut sales by 70 billion won ($69 million), Yonhap News reported, citing an unidentified company official. The company declined to provide a figure.

The strike may cut output at a time when a strengthening won erodes profits from overseas for the automaker. The action is likely to have a “negative impact on investor sentiment,” said Lee Jin Woo, a Seoul fund manager at KTB Asset Management Co.

The union said it had staged a partial strike on Aug. 22 as a “warning” and will refuse extra shifts in the future, according to a posting on its website.

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