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PACIFIC WATCH

South Korea

August 23, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Hyundai Shipyard Labor Dispute Settled: Workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. approved a new wage contract, ending a six-week labor dispute at the world's largest shipyard. The contract calls for a 4.7% wage increase. The vote defused tensions around the sprawling shipyard in Ulsan, 200 miles south of Seoul. It also ended the longest labor dispute under Kim Young-sam, who took office in February as South Korea's first civilian president in four decades. Kim, risking public backlash, had sent thousands of riot police to the area around the shipyard. Tensions mounted this week as workers made firebombs, vowing to fight any police intervention. The vote followed a government warning that if negotiations failed, emergency powers would be used to force a settlement at the shipyard, a subsidiary of the giant Hyundai group.

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