Monday 28 November 2022 - 21:39

South Korea Truckers Strike Enters Fifth Day; No Deal Reached in Govt. Talks

Story Code : 1027411
South Korea Truckers Strike Enters Fifth Day; No Deal Reached in Govt. Talks
South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol slammed the strikers on Monday, accusing the strike organizers of taking the nation's logistics "hostage".

Yoon’s office said the president will hold a cabinet meeting on Tuesday and consider the issuance of a “work force order” for truckers, making it obligatory for them to return to their jobs, or face jail and fines.

It comes after agreement eluded in the first session of talks on Monday with supply chain glitches worsening and concrete running out at building sites.

The lack of a resolution for the second major strike in less than six months by thousands of truckers demanding better pay and working conditions makes it more likely that the government will legally compel the strikers to return to work.

"The Transport Ministry's position today was that 'there is nothing the Ministry can answer,'" the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU) said in a statement, adding that the next round of talks had been set for Wednesday.

South Korean law allows the government to issue such an order during a serious-level transport disruption, and failure to comply incurs punishment of up to three years in jail, or a fine of up to 30 million won ($22,550).

The government, which estimates daily losses at about 300 billion won ($224 million) as supplies of cement and fuel for gas stations run short, is scheduled to meet with a striking truckers' union on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU) criticized the government for being unwilling to expand a minimum-pay system beyond a further three years, instead of meeting union demands to make it permanent and widen its scope.