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Hankook workers reach pay deal, ending strike

Union federation VDSZ reached an agreement over wages with the management of Korean tire maker Hankookʼs plant near Dunaújváros (central Hungary) late Thursday, ending a strike that started a little more than one week earlier.   

Management agreed to raise wages another 8.5% over an increase announced earlier in March, the VDSZ told state news agency MTI.   

Hankook announced a 13.6% wage rise following a two-hour warning strike on March 6, but union representatives complained the unilateral increase was performance-based and would favor new hires over long-time employees.

The unions argued that workers who would have fared the worst under the earlier wage offer will now earn 18.5% more at yearʼs end compared to a year earlier.

VDSZ President Tamás Székely said there was a turnaround at the talks after Hungarian members of the management were circumvented and union representatives made progress with the Korean managers. He said about 70% of the workers at Hankookʼs plant in Rácalmás participated in the strike.