GM Korea has slightly eased the tension between management and the labor union by agreeing to reconsider the Gunsan plant’s restructuring, which was set to enforce a single-shift system as oppose to the current double-shift system, according to reports.
Despite management’s willingness to reconsider, GM Korea’s made it no secret that downsizing appears inevitable. Due to Chevrolet announcing it will pull out of the European marketplace, where much of the plant’s volume is exported to, management seems to have their hands tied.
Putting downsizing into perspective, GM Korea has set the new production target 29.5% lower than a year ago. With a lower production target and over 3,000 employees, something has got to give.
All signs point to a stall more than a change of heart. According to management, GM Korea does not want to restructure the shift schedule and upset their workers. However, what appears music to the labor unions ears may just prove smoke on the water.
A possible saving grace for the labor union is managements willingness to explore expansion within the country, in the form of both market share and investments.
Only time will tell the direction management plan to go. Even if management work with the best interests of the labor union in mind, the numbers just do not add up. Although laying off workers seems inevitable, maybe GM Korea can restructure in such a way to reduce the projected number of 1,100 job losses. Perhaps exporting some vehicles to Australia may help with that.
Stay up-to-date with GM Korea’s Gunsan plant reconstruction here at GM Authority.