Union leaders of South Korea's striking autoworkers agree to end a weeklong walkout against the country's four automakers that they hoped would derail the possible sale of Daewoo Motor Co. Ltd. to a foreign automaker. The strike, which reportedly cost the country's auto industry an estimated $44 million per day, affected Daewoo's main Pupyong plant, plus plants owned by Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd., Kia Motors Corp. and Daewoo-owned Ssangyong Motor Co. Ltd. Some 60,000 workers belong to the striking unions. During the strike, 700 workers chanting slogans fought with riot police who blocked them from storming the country's ruling party headquarters. Union leaders warn that partial and intermittent actions will continue until the government withdraws the sale plan. Daewoo Motors, which has been taken over by creditor banks and is up for auction, most likely will be sold off sometime in late August. Workers, fearing a takeover may put their jobs in jeopardy, are calling for industry nationalization to protect jobs and keep the automaker out of the hands of foreign entities. Such a move would go against the country's continuing economic reforms. It also goes against the wishes of Daewoo, says Yong-Chul Han, managing director of Daewoo's corporate restructuring committee, who tells WAW most working people recognize that sale of the automaker is inevitable. "We thought we needed a strategic alliance with a big foreign company well before the bankruptcy," he says. "That's why we started negotiating with GM two years ago. A strategic alliance is extremely important."