SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Angry employees of subcontractors for
Kia Motors occupied an assembly plant paint shop for a fourth day
Tuesday as production losses mounted, the automaker said.
The unrest caused Kia to lose production of 4,500 vehicles valued
at 63 billion Korean won (US$67 million) through Monday, said Kia
spokesman Kim Jeong-ho.
About 100 workers from approximately 20 of Kia's subcontractors
have been occupying a paint shop used for two assembly lines at the
carmaker's main Hwaseong plant since Thursday, Kim said.
They are demanding that their companies hike wages to the same
level as Kia workers and pay a special bonus equivalent to seven
months' salary, he said.
``We continued to urge the occupying workers to leave the highly
inflammable paint shop and have already filed a complaint with a
Seoul court against 62 workers from our suppliers,'' Kim said.
Kia is 38.6-per cent owned by Hyundai Motor, the world's
The Hwaseong plant, south of Seoul, accounts for 42 per cent of
Kia's total output. Vehicles manufactured there include the Sorento
sport utility vehicle.
Kia said Monday that production had partially resumed.
The subcontractors mainly manufacture auto parts for Kia or
provide packaging services for the carmaker's assembly kits, Kim
The unrest came as union workers at Kia earlier this month
accepted a 5.2 per cent wage hike in base salary for this year after
staging partial strikes over several weeks.