Freight truckers go on general strike, demanding extension of base pricing system

Trucks haul containers at a dock in Busan on Monday, a day before union truckers went on general strike. (Yonhap)

Unionized freight truckers across the country went on a general strike on Tuesday, demanding that the government extend a freight rate system guaranteeing truck drivers a base salary to deal with soaring fuel prices, officials said. union leaders.

Most of the 25,000 members of Cargo Truckers Solidarity, under the wing of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, as well as many non-union truckers, were to join the walkout launched at midnight.

“In light of the impact this general strike could have on the national economy, we had tried to negotiate with the government, but the Ministry of Lands in charge failed to dialogue,” a union official said. .

The truckers’ union last month threatened an indefinite general strike, protesting soaring diesel prices that were restricting their right to survival.

The union is calling for an extension of the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System designed to prevent dangerous driving and ensure minimum freight rates for truckers. The system, introduced for a three-year term in 2020, is due to end on December 31.

Truckers said high fuel costs fear they could threaten their survival if the freight pricing system expires as scheduled. They are also demanding higher freight rates and other support measures, including the promotion of their labor rights.

Police said they would react harshly to any unlawful acts during the strike and arrest any union member attempting to disrupt the services of other non-striking truckers.

Holding a virtual meeting a day earlier, officials from the police, lands, commerce, labor and interior ministries discussed how to help procure alternative freight transport services to the following the strike.

President Yoon Suk-yeol said the walkout should be handled according to principles.

“Whether it is the unjust actions of employers or the illegal actions of workers, I have made it clear since the campaign that I will deal with them according to law and principle,” he told reporters when asked. he was asked how he would handle the strike. (Yonhap)

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