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"We’ve no money for salaries" – that’ll be the Daewoo


Korean car giant, Daewoo, have told around 750 workers at their technical centre in Worthing, West Sussex, that the company does not have enough money to pay their salaries.

The car maker which has had financial problems over the last year, called creditors in at its base in Seoul a year ago. A Daewoo official said, "There are no funds available for salary payments and unfortunately there is nothing we can do at the moment to pay our staff at Worthing." The official went on to explain that they were going through cash-flow difficulties.

Workers at the technical centre have been given time off so that they may contact banks and building societies to explain that their monthly salaries are not being paid. The Daewoo official said that any interest charges would be reimbursed.

Union leaders are seeking urgent talks with the company, and are urging the government to intervene. Some union leaders are expected to raise the issue with ministers at the Labour party conference in Brighton.

Korean manufacturing companies, have suffered greatly since the collapse of the far eastern tiger economies in the late 1990s. Car producers Daewoo and Kia have both experienced violence during industrial actions at production plants in Korea, and union leaders there have been arrested and imprisoned.

Daewoo's financial difficulties in Asia can partly be blamed on the Korean economy's reliance upon heavy bank lending during the 1980s and 1990s. Recent difficulties have been exacerbated by the failure of talks on investments with other car manufacturers outside Korea, these are reported to have included Volkswagen, Renault and more recently Ford.


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