South Korea carrier strike enters 7th day as talks collapse
Seoul, Jun 13 (EFE).- An indefinite strike by truckers in South Korea demanding an extension of a government freight rate system guaranteeing basic wages in order to cope with rising fuel costs entered its seventh day on Monday amid increasing logistical problems and stalled negotiations between the union and the government.
The Cargo Truckers Solidarity, which is under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, said Monday that it tried to reach an agreement with the land, infrastructure and transport ministry last week but added that the talks had broken down.
The truckers have been on strike since Jun. 7 after threatening for months that they would go on an indefinite strike if the government did not extend the duration of the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System, which was implemented in 2020 and scheduled to end on Dec. 31.
The union claimed that a provisional agreement was even reached on Sunday in which the government promised to make “active” efforts to upgrade and extend the freight rate system.
However, last-minute objections from the conservative, ruling People Power Party (PPP) prevented the signing of an agreement and led to a breakdown of talks, it added.
Some 4,100 members – 19 percent – of the union are participating in the strike, which is causing logistical and production problems for local industries.
In Busan, the country’s largest port, the number of containers that moved in and out on Sunday was 75 percent less as compared to a month ago while in Incheon, the second biggest South Korean port, the drop was 20 percent, local news agency Yonhap reported.
The production of cement, steel and automobile companies has also reduced due to logistical problems arising from the strike, according to the ministry. EFE