SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korean automaker Kia Motors Corp.
said Monday it resumed partial production at its main domestic plant
amid continuing labour unrest by employees of a subcontractor.
``The labour union of the supplier has been occupying the
Hwaseong plant in what we deem an illegal fashion,'' Kia spokesman
Michael Choo said.
Last week, the disruption at the factory south of Seoul resulted
in lost production of 3,200 vehicles Thursday and Friday, the
company said in a statement. Choo said the workers were still
occupying the production line's paint shop.
Kia's Hwaseong plant, which accounts for 42 per cent of the
automaker's total output, is the company's largest in South Korea.
The automaker said the factory was ``partially running'' Monday.
Vehicles manufactured at the Hwaseong factory include the Sorento
sport utility vehicle.
Kia said the workers were seeking a change in status. ``But the
fact is they work for Kia's supplier, and are not directly employed
by Kia Motors,'' the company's statement said.
Choo had no further details and didn't know how many workers were
South Korea's Yonhap news agency put the number at 400 and said
the workers were demanding higher wages, job security and equal
working conditions with Kia workers.
Unionized workers at Kia, an affiliate of the country's largest
automaker, Hyundai Motor Co., earlier this month accepted a 5.2 per
cent wage hike in base salary for this year after staging partial
strikes for weeks. Kia is 38.6 per cent-owned by Hyundai Motor, the
world's sixth-largest automaker.
Lab or unrest has been common at the two companies. Hyundai's
union has gone on strike every year but one since it was formed in