Seoul, Nov 28 (EFE).- South Korea’s government and truckers’ unions held a meeting on Monday on the fifth day of a nationwide strike in the sector that is causing serious disruptions in the supply chain.
The government led by President Yoon Suk-yeol and the unions are seeking a solution to the truckers’ second major strike in six months.
The truckers are demanding that the government extend temporary regulations guaranteeing minimum freight rates to compensate for a sharp rise in fuel prices this year.
The two sides failed to reach an agreement on the first day of negotiations due to differences over the rates and agreed to return to the table in the coming days.
Thousands of truckers have taken part in the strike, which began on Thursday and has already caused losses worth 46.4 billion won ($34.6 million), according to the government’s estimates.
The steel and cement sectors have been the worst affected by the strike.
The cement sector is even contemplating halting production for a week if the strike continues and has called on both parties to engage in talks to prevent further damage to Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang said Monday that the government “will seek measures to resume operations of transportation vehicles and to minimize the impacts, such as the mobilization of military vehicles,” local news agency Yonhap reported.
President Yoon also warned on Monday that he could issue an executive order to force the striking truckers to return to work.
The strike has led the average container movement at major ports to decline to 28.1 percent of its usual level. EFE