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Unionized workers at Renault Samsung extend walkout indefinitely

Industry 10:27 May 05, 2021

SEOUL, May 5 (Yonhap) -- Unionized workers at Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of Renault S.A., said Wednesday they will continue to walk out unless the management rolls back its decision to close its sole plant here.

Renault Samsung on Tuesday shut down its sole plant in Busan, 450 kilometers south of Seoul, as the 1,900-strong union extended its strike for the third consecutive working day.

The union and the management have held nine rounds of wage negotiations but failed to narrow their differences over wages and working conditions for the year of 2020.

The strike came as the automaker struggled with falling sales.

From January to April, Renault Samsung's sales fell 24 percent to 31,412 vehicles from 41,477 units in the same period of last year due mainly to a lack of new models.

The strikes make it more difficult for the company to secure further production volume of the XM3 SUV for export to Europe.

In January, Renault Samsung entered emergency management after reporting an operating loss of 70 billion won in 2019 for the first time in eight years. It announced its plans to cut the number of executives by 40 percent and their pay by 20 percent. It also offered a voluntary retirement program to all employees.

Its current passenger car lineup includes the all-electric SM3 Z.E. sedan, the SM6 sedan, the XM3 SUV and the QM6 SUV.

This photo provided by Renault Samsung shows the XM3 compact SUV. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

sam@yna.co.kr
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