Hyundai Motor Group: Precarious working conditions

IndustriALL Global Union has criticised Hyundai Motor Group for violating union and labour rights at its affiliates and lagging behind international standards, based on investigations in South Korea, India, Germany, USA, and the Czech Republic1. IndustriALL provides evidence of an anti-democratic management culture globally at Hyundai, and particularly, precarious employment in South Korea.

According to IndustriALL, in South Korea Hyundai illegally hires irregular workers under inadequate working conditions who are paid low wages and can be dismissed at any time. This is contrary to South Korean law and several workers who lost their jobs have committed or attempted suicide2. IndustriAll additionally accuses Hyundai of exposing female employees to sexual harassment at work3, blacklisting trade unionists, and not hiring workers who had previously worked at unionised companies4.

In 2010 Hyundai workers went on strike demanding permanent employment and a statement by the company regarding suppression of union activists. Hyundai Motor Group filed 16 lawsuits against its workers between 2011 and 20135. In late 2013 the district court ruled unions had to compensate the company with payments totalling 12 billion Won (€8.9 million).


  1. Hübner, C. (2014): Unfair Play – Labour Relations at Hyundai – A critical review; IndustriALL Global Union (accessed 1.10.2014)  []
  2. Ibid, p.15 []
  3. Ibid, p.16 []
  4. Ibid, p.19 []
  5. Nam, H. (2013): Hyundai union workers told to pay W9 billion; Korea Times, 19 December (accessed 1.10.2014)  []
Case location
unknown country code ""

Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
Affected norms and standards Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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