BEIJING -- Phil Murtaugh, former head of General Motors' China operations and new executive vice president of SAIC Motor Corp., has been appointed co-chief executive of SAIC subsidiary Ssangyong Motor Co.
Murtaugh's first task will be dealing with a strike by Ssangyong workers.
The Korean workers are protesting an SAIC plan to form a joint venture in China to assemble an SUV based on a Ssangyong design, according to the Korean International Labor Foundation Web site. They claim SAIC is turning Ssangyong into a subcontractor providing technology and engineers.
SAIC owns 50.9 percent of Ssangyong.
This is not the first disagreement over the joint-venture plan. Industry sources say a group of Ssangyong engineers left China last year in a huff, taking SUV designs with them.
Strikes are common this time of year in Korea.
Said an SAIC executive based in Korea: "This is the strike season."
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