The South Korean automaker Hyundai Motors has shown enthusiasm on electric mobility transition as it committed last year on releasing 38 models of green vehicles by 2025 using a range of different technologies. On the other hand, Hyundai’s union, the largest in the country, is apparently against this move.
“Electric cars are disasters. They are evil. We are very nervous,” told Hyundai Motors Union President Ha Bu-Young to Reuters. This statement was in response to the current changes occurring in General Motors – South Korea Division brought by electric vehicles. GM has decided to shut down one of its plants and is inclined to close more.
“We’re feeling job anxiety. We’re feeling a sense of crisis,” continued Ha. The union fears that Hyundai will undergo the same “crisis” as with GM. This is probably considering that GM’s transition to all-electric mobiles have shown that electric vehicles are much simpler to build, much lower maintenance needs, and do not feature engines or transmissions.
Ha Bu-Young also told Reuters that because of declining demands for various models in the United States, Hyundai has already asked some of its employees to take longer vacation. The union, according to Ha, is projecting a 70 percent reduction in employment as a result of the fast transition to electric vehicles.
As reported by Reuters, the Hyundai Motors Union is taking some proactive steps on this issue: “Ha said the union is studying how cars of the future might be built without slashing headcount and has proposed the automaker revive a committee to review the impact of new vehicles and new technology on jobs.
“He also noted that some 30,000 workers out of 50,000 union members will retire in 15 years, which could cushion the impact that cars of the future could have on staffing levels. … At GM’s South Korean unit, the threat of potential plant closures has led its union to offer to freeze wages and skip bonuses while about 15% of its employees have applied for a voluntary redundancy package. …
“Hyundai’s management has proposed the scaling back of some benefits such as free week-long trips to Europe for 500 workers annually as well as support for some employees’ sporting events — a proposal that the union plans to oppose, a union official said.”