Seoul, Dec 5 (EFE).- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has said the nationwide strike over freight prices by truckers was comparable to North Korean nuclear threats.
Citing multiple government officials, Yonhap News Agency Monday said that Yoon made the comparison during a recent closed-door meeting with his aides.
“It is the same as North Korea’s nuclear threat,” Yoon said. “If we bow to illegal actions and violence, the vicious cycle will continue.”
Yoon has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for the strike by the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union that entered its 12th day on Monday.
The transporters’ group is a constituent of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions,
Per the government, the strike has cost an estimated 46.4 billion won ($34.6 million).
The ruling conservative People’s Power Party (PPP) criticized the confederation after it posted on its website a “message of solidarity” sent by a North Korean labor union.
President Yoon issued an executive order to exercise controversial powers under a law revised in 2004 to force truckers back to their jobs.
The president issued the “work start order” to cement truckers because the construction industry was hit hardest by transportation delays.
The government said they might expand the order to drivers transporting fuel as a second step, citing concerns about possible shortages at gas stations.
The government and the unions are now looking for a negotiated solution to the strike that began on Nov.24. It is the second sectoral and national strike in six months.
The transporters call for the government to make a minimum freight rate system permanent before it expires by the year’s end. EFE