GM Korea subcontractors occupy the CEO office and building of Bupyeong plant on Monday. [Photo provided by GM Korea Subcontractors Committee]
In-house subcontractors of GM Korea stormed into the chief executive’s office, threatening to go on with strikes unless the automaker agrees to stop victimizing irregular work force for its restructuring campaign and guarantees job security.
According to the Korean unit of the U.S. automaker on Monday, about 40 agency-dispatched workers at the production lines in Gunsan, Bupyeong and Changwon staged a sit-in at the office of GM Korea CEO Kaher Kazem in Bupyeong, Incheon.
They demanded to talk directly with Kazem to demand the company recognize subcontracted workers as full-time employees and rehire hundreds of irregular workers that were first to go when the Gunsan factory shut down in May.
GM Korea has been ordered by the employment and labor ministry to place 774 in-house subcontractors working on the Changwon factory lines on permanent payroll by July 3 upon finding that the company has breached subcontracting regulations.
Since the Supreme Court ruling in 2015, in-house subcontractors who had worked for more than two years under the same conditions as regular workers must be recognized as full-time employees.
GM Korea, which has been saved from the brink of insolvency through a $7.15 billion bailout from the Detroit headquarters and state lender Korea Development Bank, claims the company in need of rationalization cannot afford increased payroll. It would have to pay a fine of maximum 7.74 billion won ($6.96 million) for incompliance.
The company could also face legal actions from laid-off subcontractors. It has a slim chance of winning in court given the precedent rulings.
By Kim Jung-hwan and Kim Hyo-jin
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