South Korean Unions Regroup

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SEOUL: Striking union workers at South Korea's largest automaker worked a partial day as unions tried to tempt the government with a taste of peace. Hyundai Motors, a pillar of the nation's export economy, has been the main hostage of the Confederation of Trade Unions since it called the strikes two weeks ago. But now the outlawed group has sent workers back to work for two to six hours a day as a bargaining gesture. "Our action will give President Kim another chance to think," said Hyundai union leader Kim Myong-ho. While other auto companies remained on full strike, a carrot is clearly being dangled. "Other unions may also return to partial operation," said Confederation official Choi Myong-ah. "We want to show the people that we are patient. But we also are preparing for the worst and holding our ranks to launch full-blown strikes."