Hyundai Motor's South Korean union approves strike action
By Hyunjoo Jin
SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor's (005380.KS: Quote) unionized workers in South Korea voted to go on strike for a fifth year in a row after wage talks broke down, adding to the automaker's troubles as it battles a sales slowdown.
A prolonged strike could hurt sales of high-demand cars such as the Tucson sport utility vehicle as the company heads for an expected 10th consecutive drop in quarterly profit in the April-June period, weighed by an emerging market slowdown, analysts said.
Hyundai Motor, the world's fifth-biggest carmaker together with affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS: Quote), posted a 0.9 percent fall in sales in the first half.
Union negotiators led by Park You-ki on Thursday decided to stage a partial strike for four days next week after 77 percent of Hyundai's 48,806 unionized workers in South Korea approved the strike action, the spokesman said.
"The overwhelming support is a natural result of the anger of our 48,000 union workers," the union said in a statement.
Hyundai Motor shares ended down 3 percent and Kia Motors shares declined 1.3 percent in a wider market .KS11 that was up 0.2 percent on Thursday.
"A strike is an annual event for Hyundai Motor, but this is weighing on investor sentiment," Eim Eun-young, an auto analyst at Samsung Securities, said.
The company has been hit by strikes in all but four of the union's 29-year history. The automaker usually makes up for lost production later each year. Continued...