Hyundai Motor Co. is facing a pressure campaign from a coalition of labor groups and civil rights groups in Alabama and Georgia, the home of its new $5.5 billion electric vehicle assembly and battery complex.
(Bloomberg) — Hyundai Motor Co. is facing a pressure campaign from a coalition of labor groups and civil rights groups in Alabama and Georgia, the home of its new $5.5 billion electric vehicle assembly and battery complex.
The coalition is asking Hyundai to negotiate a community benefits agreement that will “enshrine high-road commitments to workers and their communities in an enforceable agreement,” according to an Aug. 27 letter addressed to the Korean automaker and signed by the Alabama Coalition for Community Benefits and the Georgia branch of the AFL-CIO, a US federation of labor unions.
The groups are pressuring Hyundai to do more to ensure safe labor conditions throughout its supply chain after a Department of Labor investigation last year uncovered child labor violations at several Alabama companies supplying the Korean automaker. Hyundai is investing $5.5 billion to build an EV assembly and battery plant near the port city of Savannah, Georgia, that will create 8,100 new jobs. It also employs about 3,000 people at an assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of the more than 114,000 individuals we employ, directly and indirectly, whose market-leading skills and expertise are driving America’s auto industry forward,” the company said in an emailed statement in response to the letter.
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Hyundai and Kia have been notching sales records in the US with SUVs like the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Santa Fe. The automaker has been racing to build the new EV plant in Georgia so it can qualify for consumer EV tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act, which made domestic assembly a prerequisite for the tax breaks.
The New York Times first reported on the pressure campaign earlier Sunday.
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