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UAW Demonstrates Over Hyundai's Treatment of Temporary Workers

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On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:04PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

UAW Demonstrates Over Hyundai's Treatment of Temporary Workers

The UAW said in a statement this week that it supports the rights of workers who are on strike in Korea against Hyundai, and it plans to hold a rally for those workers at the Hyundai America Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

UAW President Bob King plans to travel to South Korea this week. King reports that a recent strike at a Hyundai auto parts plant has cost the company $173 million in lost vehicle production.

Hyundai’s contract workers, which are known as “precarious workers” in Korea, have been on strike since the middle of November, which led to the closing of a production plant in Korea.

United Auto Workers (UAW) reports that over a fifth of Hyundai workers are employed in temporary positions, often under the guise of fake subcontractors, in order for the company to be able to pay lower benefits and salaries than permanent Hyundai employees receive.

Korean Supreme Court found that Hyundai was using contractor employees to avoid hiring them as full time autoworkers, to save the company money.

“Precarious workers should be treated in the same manner and have the full rights of regular Hyundai workers,” UAW President Bob King said in a statement. “The UAW and our sister unions around the globe will be standing with these workers until Hyundai stops the violence and repression of these workers and recognizes them as regular Hyundai workers.”

The UAW said it will hold a rally in support of the temporary Korean workers at Hyundai’s technical center in Superior Township.

“We recognize the UAW’s right to peacefully demonstrate and will make reasonable accommodations for them. We will have no further comment on the matter," Hyundai's technical center said in a statement to the Free Press.

In a statement, King said the temporary workers, who currently comprise over 20% of Hyundai’s work force, should be granted permanent, full-time status.

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