Wage level of Hyundai Motor workers in US, Korea ‘not the same’

Wage level of Hyundai Motor workers in US, Korea ‘not the same’

Hyundai Motor’s head office in Seoul on Tuesday refuted recent reports that compared the average wage levels at the carmaker’s plants in US and Korea, highlighting differences in payment and taxes.

The carmaker was responding to local reports that workers at Hyundai Motor’s production plant in Alabama were paid as much as their counterparts in Korea on average last year.

Last year, workers at Hyundai’s Alabama plant received $90,400 on average, or 102 million won, if applying an annual average exchange rate of 1,131 won per $1. The carmaker’s workers in Korea received 96 million won on average, according to regulatory filing last year.

This was the first such release of the average salary of workers at its US plant by the carmaker’s office in Alabama.

Industry watchers said the wage data may have been disclosed upon requests by the employees in Alabama, following a series of reports that Korean workers receive better salaries even though their performance based on the number of cars manufactured per hour was lower than US workers.

But Hyundai Motor explained that the amount of salary received by US workers includes health insurance, severance packages and other benefits. Those elements were excluded in Korean workers’ wage data.

If health insurance and severance pay are added to Korean workers’ salaries, the differences in wage would grow to around $10,000-$20,000, the company’s official said. But such comparison is also unfair, he added, citing differences in health insurance, other mandatory payment systems such as pension programs, and the volatile currency exchange rate.

Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20161108000754

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