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Friday May 3, 2013

Labour woes continue to dog Hyundai Motor

SEOUL: South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co said its domestic plants may not resume weekend work tomorrow as hoped due to internal union conflict over wage agreements, even as a slump in its April exports underscored the toll from its labour disputes.

After Saturday output stoppages in March and April, Hyundai Motor's union leadership agreed to a wage pact with the company and to restart weekend production. But opposition within the union from the heads of nine divisions at company's biggest production base is set to derail that deal.

“It may be difficult to resume weekend production this week because of conflicts within labour factions,” said a Hyundai Motor spokesman.

The lost production of some 48,000 vehicles hurt the automaker's earnings in the JanuaryMarch period.

Hyundai Motor is likely to make up that output later in the year, but failure to resolve its labour woes soon could weigh on its US sales in the months ahead, particularly as it is currently underperforming the industry due to stretched manufacturing capacity.

A senior union official, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the nine divisions will continue to refuse to work tomorrow.

Hyundai Motor's exports for April fell 16% to 95,359 vehicles, although global sales firmed 10% from a year earlier helped by increased production from China and other countries. - Reuters

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