Despite plunging sales and three years of losses, union negotiators continue to demand a high monthly wage increase of 154,883 won ($136) and bonuses equivalent to five months’ pay (about $42,000 for a long-term employee).

They rejected out of hand the company’s most recent offer of a 50,000 won ($43.75) monthly pay increase, a signing bonus of 6 million won ($5,250) and a 4.5 million won ($3,940) performance bonus, payable at the end of the year.

While GM Korea will not provide details of negotiations with the union, analysts believe the union is refusing to resume negotiations again unless Kazem agrees to include the non-wage demands on their agenda.

The union demands include having veto power, or a say in operations, including any plant downsizing or job reductions, and making management guarantee stipulated employment levels at all GM Korea plants.

In line with Korea’s labor laws, the automaker maintains the negotiations must focus only on worker compensation, and not on non-wage/bonus matters.

When asked about the strikes and the union’s boycott of the wage talks, a GM Korea spokesman told WardsAuto, “Despite the union strikes, the company will continue making an effort to peacefully complete the current negotiations and build amicable labor relations.”

Currently, all three vehicle-production facilities in Bupyeong, Gunsan and Changwon, the Boryeong transmission plant, the Incheon CKD plant and the Cheongna test track and vehicle analysis center in Incheon are closed for the 10-day Chuseok Thanksgiving holiday.

However, during the holiday GM Korea staff released a sales report for September and the first nine months of 2017 showing a dramatic drop in both domestic and export sales.

Domestic sales last month tumbled 38.1% with only 8,991 vehicles sold. Car sales were off  43.3%, and commercial-vehicle deliveries were off 2.9%.

For the nine-month period, domestic sales were down 15.9% with 102,504 units sold.

Even the company’s best seller, the diminutive Spark, saw domestic deliveries plummet 40% year-on-year year in September to 3,396 units sold, and plunge 36.8% for the nine months with 35,592 units sold.

Exports of the Spark were down 17.7% for September, with 7,522 units shipped. For the year’s first nine months, Spark exports were off 18.5% at 72,541 units.

September total exports – the lifeblood of the company – were virtually flat, with 31,273 vehicles shipped. Total exports were off 2.3% for the nine months, with 299,476 units shipped.

In its heyday, GM Daewoo, the predecessor of GM Korea, booked annual export sales of upwards of 1 million vehicles.

Completely knocked-down exports, an important but often unreported part of GM Korea’s business that always has exceeded exports of completely built-up vehicles, also were down.

In September CKD export shipments tallied 48,004 units, a drop of 4.1%. For the nine months, CKD exports were off 12.6%, with 445,127 units shipped.