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South Korea's Hyundai Motor union votes for strike

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Models show off an all-new Avante subcompact, manufactured by Hyundai Motor Co., during a publicity event in Hwaseong, south of Seoul, South Korea, Sep 9, 2015.

[SEOUL] Workers at South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor have voted to strike unless a deal is reached over a wage dispute, a union spokesman said Thursday.

Of the union's 48,585 members, some 89 per cent took part in Wednesday's vote, with 78 per cent supporting possible strike action, said spokesman Hwang Ki Tae.

"Technically, the union is now able to launch a strike as early as Monday next week.

"However, we would like to reach a deal with management peacefully," Hwang told AFP, adding negotiations will resume later Thursday.

The union is demanding a 7.84 per cent wage hike, guaranteed job security until age 65, and wants 30 per cent of the company's net profit put aside for bonus payments.

If the union goes on strike, it would mark the fourth straight year of industrial action at the automaker.

Hyundai Motor's second-quarter net profit plunged 23.8 per cent from a year earlier to 1.79 trillion won (S$2.2 billion), due to a strong won and increased competition at home and abroad in a global economic slowdown.

AFP