> More than 1,000 angry General Motors workers rallied in South Korea on Wednesday. Union members staged a protest at the company's Gunsan's factory, calling its upcoming closure a death sentence. GM made the announcement suddenly this week, also revealing the future of its three other South Korean plants hangs in the balance, affecting 16,000 local staff.
If the plant in Gunsan city shuts down, unions are threatening a strike or a sit-in at the GM Korea's headquarters. The US auto giants says its business in the country is losing money. And as Reuter's Ju-min Park in Seoul reports, it's now leaning on the government and unions to offer incentives to stay.
>> South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised job creation and better safety net for workers, but GM's move to close a factory and plans more restructuring putting in a difficult position facing massive job losses. GM also has been struggling with the laws making Korean operation, complaining about high labor cost and strong waver union.
>> President Donald Trump has seized on the news, claiming that GM's career restructuring will bring jobs back to Detroit. But for the moment, it's unclear if that's actually a factor at play, or if that's wishful thinking from the White House.>> Obviously, he wanted to set GM's case as an example to show his America first policy to protect American manufacturers, and also to pressure South Korea on trade.
South Korea and its key major ally, United States have been stand off over trade after Trump took office.>> Their bilateral free trade deal is currently under renegotiation, and also Trump approved heavy tariffs on South Korean washing machines.>> GM who's brand includes Chevrolet and Cadillac has been exiting on profitable markets abroad, including Russia and Australia.
And is increasingly focusing its resources on Asia's biggest economy, China.