Tony O'Kane | Jul 27, 2009

AN ONGOING INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE at Ssangyong's Pyeongtaek production facility in South Korea may affect local supply of the brand's cars in Australia.

The workers' strike, which has been going for over 35 days now, was sparked by the sacking of 2646 Ssangyong workers ordered by the company's majority stakeholder, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

Workers have occupied the now-idle Pyeongtaek plant for over seven weeks, with government officials, union representatives and Ssangyong failing to resolve the impasse.

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The impact of the strike on Ssangyong's Australian stock is not immediately obvious, however, with local importer Sime Darby unsure of how long its existing inventory can last.

Worsening the situation for Ssangyong, the Korean automaker's sales in Australia have recently taken a dive with sales to the end of June down 43.5 percent compared to the same period in 2008.

Negotiations with the union were scheduled to take place on Saturday, but were called off by Ssangyong.

With the union demanding around 800 unionised workers be allowed to keep their jobs and Ssangyong (presently under receivership) unable to accomodate their demand, the issue is still some distance from being resolved.

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