General Motors' South Korean unit plans to slash 5,000 jobs, or about 30 percent of its workforce, but keep production steady if Seoul agrees to its $2.8 billion proposal for the loss-making operation, according to a document seen by Reuters. The U.S. automaker announced last month that it would shut down a factory in Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, and that it was mulling the fate of its three other plants in South Korea. The Detroit automaker, which owns 77 percent of GM Korea, is negotiating with the South Korean government over the restructuring proposal, as state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) owns a 17 percent stake. GM's main Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, controls the remaining 6 percent. In the plan it submitted to the government and seen by Reuters, GM Korea proposed cutting the number of employees to 11,000 from about 16,000. Because only 2,000 people work at the Gunsan facility, it appears the other factories will also be affected. The document did not specify when the cuts would occur. GM's proposal may put the Seoul government in a bind, as President Moon Jae-in seeks to save thousands of jobs but could face a public backlash if he uses taxpayer money as a lifeline for GM.
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