Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. workers have voted to accept the tentative agreement reached between their union representatives and management.

“It’s over,” a Hyundai spokesman confirms to Ward's. “The workers can now go back to their jobs. I’m very happy for our company because we have a lot of cars to build.”

Through July 26, Hyundai had lost 93,882 units of production, which it calculates to be worth 1.31 trillion won ($1.37 billion). The partial work stoppages occurred on 21 workdays from June 26-July 26, when the tentative agreement was reached.

The Hyundai settlement is seen by analysts as a bellwether for the rest of the South Korean automotive industry.

Kia Motors Corp. workers remain on partial-strike status, a union official tells Ward's. Four lines were stopped for two hours July 27, followed by a 4-hour work stoppage July 28.

Kia officials say, historically, Hyundai’s settlement sets the terms for Kia’s management to follow. Kia workers have scheduled 2-hours strikes for Aug. 7-8 and a 4-hour work stoppage Aug. 9.

The Hyundai agreement provides for a 5.1%, 70,665 won ($74.04) average increase in monthly base pay. It also provides for a signing bonus of one-month’s pay, plus 1 million won ($1,048).

GM Daewoo Auto & Technology workers rejected a 3.9%, 56,000 won ($58.68) monthly wage increase and a one-time lump sum “celebration” payment of 2 million won ($2,096) as a reward for reaching the agreement with virtually no strike action.

The workers also turned down a one-time bonus of 1 million won ($1,048) before the end of 2006.

A GMDAT spokesman tells Ward's no future talks are scheduled.

While workers at Renault Samsung Motors Inc. are not unionized, company officials there say that the wage-settlement pattern set by competitors is a factor in adjusting employee wages and other benefits.

Meanwhile, Ssangyong Motors Co. Ltd. workers have declared a strike ahead of wage and benefit talks. The union says it is angry with management plans to terminate 986 of the company’s 5,300 employees, in a restructuring move. They include 782 production workers and 204 administrative staff.

The union also is demanding that candidate for co-CEO of Ssangyong Motors, Phillip Murtaugh, be barred from taking his job.

Murtaugh, the former chief of GM China Group, was appointed co-CEO by Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp., which owns 51% of Ssangyong Motors. The union identifies Murtaugh as a “restructuring specialist.”

Murtau is expected to replace incumbent co-CEO Jiang Zhiwe after Ssangyong board members vote to approve the appointment Aug. 11.