The union representing Hyundai workers in South Korea does an about-face, announcing it will stage partial strikes in the absence of a new contract.

Union leaders did not announce plans for a strike after 66% of members who cast ballots voted July 14 to authorize a walkout.

The president of the Hyundai Branch of the Korean Metal Workers Union had announced July 19 the union would continue to bargain with management in good faith in hopes of securing a tentative contract before the traditional summer holiday, which is to begin Aug. 31.

But the KMWU announced Aug. 8 members would strike for four hours, two hours on each of the day and afternoon shifts, on Aug. 10 and Aug. 14. The union has conducted partial strikes in each of the past three years.

Employees also will decline all weekend work, which will cost Hyundai at least 16 hours of lost production every week in addition to production losses caused by the partial strikes.

The planned shutdowns will occur in the middle of the shifts, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the day shift, and from 8:20 p.m. to 10:20 p.m. on the afternoon shift.

While lasting only two hours on each shift, the brief shutdowns play havoc with production scheduling. All Hyundai plants operate on a just-in-time basis, receiving parts and modules from other plants or from in-plant module production lines operated by outside suppliers on hours different than those of the vehicle-production lines.

“The company will continue to have sincere discussions with the union to resolve the issue as early as possible,” a Hyundai spokesman tells WardsAuto.

When asked for comment, the Ulsan office of the KMWU hung up the phone.

Neither party has disclosed the number of negotiation meetings that have been held.

The union has not budged in its demands, which were set by the central headquarters of the KMWU.

The wage increase demand is the same for both Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors: A 154,883 won ($138) average monthly wage increase that is a little more than a 7% raise, and bonuses calculated by dividing 30% of the company’s 2016 net income among the work force.

The Hyundai union also is seeking elimination of one hour from the 9-hour afternoon shift, with no offsetting drop in pay. It also wants management to change the pay system from an hourly to a salary basis, and sign employment guarantees that provide a set level of worker income regardless of production schedules or the impact of automation or other improved production methods.