, SEOUL, October 2- Hyundai Motor union members on Thursday narrowly approved a wage deal aimed at ending a series of damaging partial strikes at the world’s fifth largest automaker.
An accord was hammered out earlier in the week in talks with the management, but still required formal confirmation by the union membership.
Nearly 44,000 workers took part in the ballot and the result was close, with 51.5 percent voting in favour and 48 against, the union said in a statement.
Hyundai workers have staged sporadic strikes since August to push their demand that regular bonuses be considered part of the basic wage used to calculate rates for overtime, holiday shifts and pensions.
The company said incorporating bonuses in the calculations would inflate its wage bill by 10 percent.
Under the new deal, the issue will be handled by a new management union consultative body, which will seek a resolution by the end of March.
The agreement also included bonuses and incentives totalling 8.9 million won ($8,400) plus payments equivalent to four and a half months’ salary and a rise of 98,000 won in basic salaries.
Hyundai says the strikes in August and the workers’ refusal to work overtime have cost it some 32,000 cars in lost production and 700 billion won ($673 million) in sales.
Hyundai’s net profit in April-June slumped 6.9 percent from a year earlier.