South Korea: Transport ministry and striking truckers’ union fail to reach settlement in first talks

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The South Korean government and the Crago Truckers Solidarity Union (CSTU)  have failed to reach a settlement in their first talk held on Monday (Nov 28). 

The CSTU in its statement said that “The transport ministry’s position today was that ‘There is nothing the ministry can answer.'” The union further added that the government withdrew its steps towards issuing an “anti-constitutional” ‘work start order.’

The next round of talks is scheduled for Wednesday (Nov 30).

Also read | South Korean President Yeol warns of government ‘intervention’ as truckers’ strike continues

The strikers have been protesting for five days leading to several losses in the supply chain, especially at construction sites.

The government is estimated to bear a loss of nearly $224 million or (300 billion won) daily due to a broken chain of supply of cement and gas supplies, Reuters reported.

Watch | South Korea: About 25,000 truckers go on strike, conduct 16 rallies across country | WION

The transport ministry stated that the steel industry including POSCO and Hyundai Steel saw their shipments down to 22,000 tonnes from 46,000 tonnes on Sunday (Nov 27). This is the second nationwide strike conducted in less than six months by thousands of truck workers demanding better paying and working conditions.

The talks were scheduled after the president warned the strikers to back off and if not then the govt will be forced to interfere. President Yoon Suk-yeol criticised the strikes as taking a “hostage” during an ongoing economic crisis. 

Also read | South Korea: In a first, self-driving bus trial begins in Seoul

However, the president on Monday after talks said, “We need to establish a rule of law between labour and management.”

These strikes are harming industrial activities in Asia’s fourth-largest economy which is dependent on its exports. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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