Wisconsin, USA –January 6, 2012 – Recently news broke that some workers at several Korean automobile plants –who work third shift – put in hours beyond the legal limit. Kia and Hyundai want to prevent this occurrence by completely getting rid of the third shift and splitting the day shifts into two separate shifts. As seen in most Korean businesses, some people work up to 55 hours per week; instead of this happening, it is a wise decision to hire more people since the ‘rested’ people will be more productive. In addition, it helps the unemployed gain income; it takes stress off the overworked and the unemployed.
Both Korean automobile manufacturers plan to cut over 1,400 work hours; there are no details on if any of these hours are the ‘excess’ hours that people are working beyond 40 hours per week. Yet, we must sigh from relief; even if it creates slight panic to the workforce since there is less hours to be allowed. However, Koreans must stay strong as it is a move that could be better for the economy; no more ‘overtime’ hours, which allows for others to make money as well; if more people have spending power, the economy is likely to flourish.
The companies plan to make the transition over the period of this year and hopefully be completely changed by 2013; this will allow its workers to re-adjust to the new work environment and discover new ways to be more productive. Cars have less time in the day to be produced, which means the system will need to be completely changed in order to ensure that just as many vehicles are being produced. Undoubtedly these car manufacturers have ideas on how to make this happen; perhaps the first shift will start earlier than normal.
Hyundai announced that it plans to hire at least 900 people while Kia could add up to 500 workers. As small as this number may seem when compared to the overall population, it could make the biggest difference. Perhaps the problems in Korea right now could be directly solved by the businesses if they all make changes like this.
Hyundai and Kia are the largest automobile manufacturers in S Korea; we do not know what the other manufacturers will do, but maybe they will follow the lead of these manufacturers and cut hours and add workers; no one should have to work beyond the legal amount of hours.