NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Numsa Calls On The South Korean Government To Save Jobs

7 March 2018, Posted in Press Releases

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) condemns General Motors for attacking workers and their families in South Korea. GM announced that it intends to shut down one of its operations in the town of Gunsun in May this year. At least 2 thousand workers and their families will suffer as a result of job losses. But, according to a recent Reuters report, the car company plans to cut 5 thousand jobs as part of its restructuring proposal with the South Korean government.

GM has three other plants in South Korea and its total workforce is made up of 16 thousand workers. According to the article, written by Hyunjoo Jin, it intends to cut the workforce down to 11 thousand. This will have devastating consequences for thousands of workers and their families.

GM Korea claims it recorded net losses of 1.9 trillion won (U.S. $1.8 billion between 2014 and 2016). It is demanding that the Korean government bail it out by contributing to a $2.8 billion investment plan for its South Korean operations over the next 10 years otherwise it will shut down its operations. It is important to note that part of the reason for its financial problems is that GM Korea owes $580 million in loans to GM (its corporate headquarters). These loans have expired.

NUMSA knows the pain and suffering caused by retrenchments. GM pulled out of South Africa and it resulted in 545 job losses. This had a major impact on the local economy because it caused 3 thousand job losses along the value chain. We support the union’s call for GM to be investigated for tax. As NUMSA we think they should also be investigated for profit shifting which is a common practice amongst some of these corrupt multi-national corporations. We also urge the government of South Korea to reject any proposal which includes job cuts. Furthermore if there is to be a deal, the

proposal must be a long term deal in order to prevent GM from pulling out of the country, soon after it receives financial aid.

NUMSA stands in solidarity with the Korean Metalworkers Union (KMWU) and all members of the working class and their families who now face an uncertain future because of this selfish decision by GM in South Korea. We call on them to unite and to do all they can to fight against this attack on the working class.

Aluta continua!
The struggle continues! Issued by Irvin Jim NUMSA General SecretaryFor more information contact: Phakamile Hlubi-Majola
NUMSA Spokesperson (National) 0833767725