SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- Workers at GM Korea Co.'s R&D firm on Monday began voting to decide on whether to stage a strike against the company's move to apply unfavorable wages and working conditions for the spin-off entity, GM Korea's union said.
Some 2,100 employees at the GM Technical Center Korea (GMTCK) will hold a vote through Tuesday to prevent the company from applying a revised agreement for them, a union spokesman said.
GMTCK is an R&D company that was spun off from GM Korea and began operations in January. R&D workers have demanded the same collective agreement GM Korea workers reached with management. GM holds a 77 percent stake in GM Korea.
The R&D entity said it plans to adopt performance-based pay and stricter disciplinary actions that can make layoffs easier if the need arises. The company has, moreover, been requesting that workers submit their plans to participate in any labor action to the company in advance.
The technical center and the union held nine rounds of talks until last week to narrow the gap over the proposals but failed to reach a compromise.
The GM Korea union asked the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) to mediate the impasse, but the organization refused to intervene, citing a "big difference" between the two sides. GMTCK does not have its own union.
Despite the decision of the NLRC, the GMTCK is committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement based on mutual respect and understanding, GM Korea said last week.
If more than half of workers at the R&D company votes for a strike, GMTCK workers will be able to walk out at any time. The voting results will be available Tuesday afternoon, the union said.
"But any strike by GMTCK employees won't affect production at GM Korea plants," a GM Korea spokesman said.
The union spokesman said GM Korea workers won't participate in any strike by GMTCK workers.
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