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The long-anticipated replacement for the Aveo, the Chevrolet Sonic, is set to drop in August. But a strike at the Sonic’s plant could delay this—thanks to a pay discrepancy among assembly workers.
The Sonic is being built by workers at the Orion assembly plant in Michigan, under the supervision of supplier LINC Logistics Co. Workers here make $10 per hour as opposed to the $14 to $28 they would make if they were UAW members at a GM plant. And today, workers at the Orion plant voted in overwhelming favor to authorize a strike, with 98% of workers voting yes.
Negotiations for a pay increase are set to increase soon, and with this authorization, union leaders could call for a work stoppage anytime. Despite this, GM spokespeople believe that the Sonic will still be released on time, as scheduled. Good luck, folks.
Hyundai‘s Veloster sports coupe will have its North American introduction delayed by two months due to a labor dispute involving a union at its South Korean factory.
A labor dispute involving changes to the shift structure at the Veloster’s plant in Ulsan caused a production slowdown, which saw the plant operate at 33 percent capacity. Labor disputes and strikes are extremely common in the South Korean auto industry, with one occuring every summer for a 20 year period from 1988-2008.
While North American launch plans are still on track for the second half of this year, Hyundai has been forced to go ahead with a limited roll-out in South Korea, with a target of 18,000 cars sold. The Veloster is a key product in both markets, with the car being both a push into the “premium” market at home, and a way to bring in young customers in the United States.
[Source: Automotive News]
Discuss this news and more at Veloster.org
Honda was forced to shut down all four of its Chinese car plants, after 1,850 workers at an auto parts plant went on strike over wages. The strike is reported to have crippled Honda’s production capability in what is now the world’s largest car market.
The lack of parts means that Honda is unable to assemble cars at any of its four Chinese plants. The employees at the parts plant want their wages increased to between 2,000 yuan ($293) and 2,500 yuan per month, from 1,500 yuan ($220). Workers at Honda’s car plants make a similar wage.
“China is experiencing a labor shortage that’s shifting the natural bargaining power to workers,” Chang-Hee Lee, a Beijing-based industrial relations specialist at the International Labor Organization told Bloomberg News. While much of China’s economy is owned by the state (and Honda’s own operations are jointly owned with the Chinese government), governmental authorities claim that Honda has done nothing wrong in the labor dispute. China account for about 17 percent of Honda’s global sales, making it a crucial market for its operations.