Kumho Tire union votes to accept wage freeze

SEOUL-- Unionized workers at Kumho Tire Co. have voted to accept a wage deal for the year of 2020 amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, the union said Tuesday.

The management and labor union reached an agreement early this month on a wage freeze and a cash bonus worth 1 million won (US$900) per worker plus a contract to guarantee job security.

Its 2,700-strong union approved the deal in a vote held from Monday to Tuesday, union spokesman Kim Seong-jin said.

Kumho Tire didn't raise wages for 2018 and 2019, and its union members returned two months of bonuses a year and accepted reduced welfare benefits, he said.

For the whole of 2020, its net losses widened to 46.2 billion won from 43.4 billion won a year earlier due to COVID-19's impact on the automobile industry.

Full-year operating profit fell 37 percent to 36.43 billion won from 57.4 billion won during the same period. Sales declined 8.4 percent to 2.17 trillion won from 2.37 trillion won.

In 2018, Chinese tiremaker Qingdao Doublestar Co. acquired a 45 percent stake in the Korean tiremaker for 646.3 billion won from the state-run Korea Development Bank.

Kumho Tire has eight plants -- three in South Korea, three in China, one in Vietnam and one in the United States -- with a combined production capacity of 54.64 million tires.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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