LABOR: A Summer of Discontent?

A Summer of Discontent?

After a series of strikes battered South Korea's economy last year, the government hoped that managers and unionists had learned to negotiate across bargaining tables rather than police lines. But disputes have erupted at 340 companies so far this year, suggesting that the country may be in for another summer of labor unrest.

The company hardest hit is the Hyundai conglomerate (estimated 1987 revenues: $23 billion). Trouble started in early May, when a labor leader at the Hyundai Construction Co. was kidnaped in Seoul. Two company executives were eventually arrested and charged with paying thugs $27,000 to kidnap the man to...

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