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Militant Labor Unionism and the Decline of Solidarity : A Case Study of Hyundai Auto Workers in South Korea

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Authors
Yoo, Hyung-Geun
Issue Date
2012-12
Publisher
Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Citation
Development and Society, Vol.41 No.2, pp. 177-199
Keywords
Labor MovementLabor MilitancyClass SolidarityAutomobile IndustryHyundai Motor Company
Abstract
Based on a case study of labor unionism at Hyundai Motor Company (HMC), this article explores the changing features of militant labor unionism at leading large firms in South Korea’s export sector. Militant unionism at HMC has been shaped in the overall context of the confrontational nature of industrial relations and the strong workplace bargaining power of labor unions during the transition to democracy. Even after the company has grown into a global automaker and the living standards of workers significantly improved, labor protests and strike actions still prevail. Since the financial crisis of 1997, however, the aim of labor militancy has shifted dramatically from class solidarity among various types of workers to social closure in order to defend the narrow economic interests of the labor union members. This study concludes that “labor militancy without solidarity” comes to represent the characteristics of labor unionism at leading large firms in South Korea in the era of globalization.
ISSN
1598-8074
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/86764
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and Society Development and Society Vol.41 No.1/2 (2012)
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