Talks aimed at ending a prolonged industrial dispute at South Korea’s troubled auto firm Ssangyong Motor collapsed yesterday, with management pulling out of negotiations.
Managers said in a statement that three days of talks had failed because of the union’s insistence on “unacceptable” demands for no layoffs and no lawsuits over their two-month occupation of the firm’s factory.
Hundreds of workers, armed with metal pipes, slingshots and inflammable paint thinner, have occupied the factory in Pyeongtaek, 70km south of Seoul, since May 21 in protest at job cuts.
The debt-stricken firm in February secured court protection from creditors after China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry gave up management control.
Court-appointed managers have since struggled to turn it around through job cuts and cost savings.
The program calls for the sacking of 2,646 workers or 36 percent of the workforce, in what would be the country’s first mass layoff since the onset of the global economic crisis in September.
Some 1,670 workers have taken voluntary retirement but hundreds are still staging a sit-in at the factory. There have been clashes between strikers and employees trying to go to work.
Ssangyong’s court-appointed manager Lee Yu-il announced that the talks had collapsed in a televised news conference yesterday.
“The union ... continues to stick to its previous position that it will not allow for any single layoff, and we inevitably decided to end all negotiations that we believe are meaningless,” Lee said.
“What we propose is to overcome this crisis by having employees rotate on work and on unpaid leave,” union leader Han Sang-kyun said in an interview with YTN cable TV news channel.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South