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Moon hails job creation model in new electric car complex

October 24, 2019

President Moon Jae-in on Thursday attended a ceremony for the signing of a job creation agreement in a new electric car complex in a southwestern city that was hit by the closure of a GM plant last year.

Representatives of labor, business and local government in Gunsan, 275 kilometers south of Seoul, inked an agreement under which two consortiums of venture businesses will invest a combined 412.2 billion won (US$351.7 million) in production of electric cars and hire 1,900 new employees by 2022.

Moon hailed it as a “win-win” model for job creation and local development based on investment, government support and labor cooperation.

“Gunsan would emerge strong as the mecca of electric vehicles powered by the region’s determination to nurture new industries, the cooperation among labor, management, civil society and government, and government support,” Moon said in the ceremony.

The event was held in a former GM plant, which was closed in May last year and is now used as an electric car factory by MS Group.

MS Group plans to inject 267.5 billion won in the facility and produce 120,000 vehicles by 2022 starting next year. It expects to create 900 jobs.

Another consortium, called Saemangeum, plans to allocate 144.7 billion won to build production facilities on a nearby vast tract of reclaimed land of the same name.

The companies aim to build an electric car cluster in cooperation with about 800 parts suppliers and more than 10 automobile research institutes in the region.

The so-called Gunsan model is the sixth in Moon’s pet projects for local job creation, which started in the southwestern city of Gwangju early this year.

Moon noted Gunsan achieved “the highest level win-win situation” among the six projects.

“The Gunsan job model has the biggest scope of direct employment and the highest proportion of regular workers, and introduces an advanced wage system centered on duties and performance,” he said.

Moon also praised the automakers for setting a new example of fair and horizontal relations with subcontractors.

He also hailed the agreement between labor and management to conduct a region-wide collective bargaining to set standard wage guidelines and minimize wage gaps for the first time in the country.

President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech at a ceremony for the signing of a job creation agreement in a new electric car complex in Gunsan, 275 kilometers south of Seoul, on Oct. 24, 2019. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech at a ceremony for the signing of a job creation agreement in a new electric car complex in Gunsan, 275 kilometers south of Seoul, on Oct. 24, 2019. (Yonhap)

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