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Kia Motors union approves 5.17 pct wage hike

All Headlines 17:50 August 19, 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Yonhap) -- Union members of Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-largest automaker, agreed to a 5.17 percent hike in base pay Friday, ending their annual wage negotiations.

The decision seals the deal reached between management and the union on July 22 and marks the second year in a row that Kia workers have consented to wage hikes without resorting to a crippling strike.

Of those that took part in the vote, 64.4 percent favored accepting the deal reached last month.

Under the agreement, the carmaker said it will raise base pay by 90,000 won (US$83.3) and give a 300 percent bonus and an extra 7 million won in special encouragement money. Kia will also give workers 80 shares of company stock and said it would support high school tuitions for children of workers who had died while working for the company.

Union leaders said the deal highlights the level of maturity and trust between the management and union that has been forged in recent years.

They said that by not engaging in strikes, Kia can better fulfill it social obligations. When unions of large carmakers go on strike, suppliers of parts must stop work and that can hurt smaller-sized companies.

Union members initially rejected the wage deal reached last month with only 47 percent of workers voting for the pact. Additional negotiations that included Kia's pledge to set up a special social fund to help children who have lost parents to car accidents, helped seal the deal.


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