• Renault Samsung Closes Busan Plant Amid Union Strike
Unionized workers hold a protest rally at the Renault Samsung plant on April 30, 2021. (Photo: Yonhap News)

Renault Samsung Motors has temporarily closed its plant in Busan as unionized workers continue to strike for a wage hike amid the pandemic.

The South Korean unit of Renault S.A. said Tuesday it temporarily shut down its sole plant in the country as the 1,900-strong union extended their strike for three consecutive working days from Friday.

"We blocked assembly line workers who are participating in the strike from walking into the plant. But we will have union members opposed to industrial action produce vehicles," a company spokesperson told Yonhap News.

The union and the management have held nine rounds of wage negotiations but failed to narrow their differences over pay and working conditions for the year of 2020.

In January, Renault Samsung entered emergency management after reporting an operating loss of 70 billion won in 2019 for the first time in eight years.

In a message sent to employees in February, Renault Samsung CEO Dominique Signora said cutting costs and restructuring will be "inevitable" for the company's survival amid the prolonged pandemic and lower demand.

From January to April, the carmaker saw its sales fall 24 percent on-year to 31,412 vehicles, due mainly to a lack of new models.

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