[THE INVESTOR] Unionized workers at GM Korea will vote next week on a possible strike to protest against the company’s plan to establish a separate research and development corporation, the union said on Oct. 11.
GM Korea plans to hold a shareholders meeting on Oct. 19 to push forward the plan to integrate design and engineering divisions into a separate R&D-focused entity. Its board of directors gave the go-ahead to the plan last week.
The union views the move as an initial step toward maintaining the new corporation as one of the U.S. carmaker’s R&D bases while selling or shutting down its production facilities in Korea in the long term.
“The company’s decision to create an R&D entity separately from its manufacturing business, which would require hefty restructuring costs, appears to be a move to sell its car plants,” the union said in a statement.
GM Korea workers plan to hold the vote on Oct. 15-16.
The state-run Korea Development Bank, the second-biggest shareholder in GM Korea after GM, has recently filed an injunction against the shareholders meeting with a local court.
But GM Korea said it will push ahead with the plan to seek an approval from shareholders next week.
The planned R&D company will carry out design and development work for GM’s best-selling midsized sport utility vehicles, the company said.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)