South Korea’s Truckers Resume Strike Blocking Ports and Manufacturing

Korean truck drivers strike
Drivers who transfer containers walked off the job on Thursday inflicting container volumes to fall 60 % (Busan Metropolis Authorities)

Nov 24, 2022 1:45 PM by

The Maritime Government

For the second time in a matter of months, truck drivers in South Korea began a strike on Thursday morning threatening main disruptions throughout the availability chain and particularly concentrating on the ports and auto business. The earlier strike in June 2022 unfold over the course of every week to contain tens of 1000’s of drivers with the federal government estimating the financial injury at $1.2 billion.

As a situation to finish the eight-day strike in June, South Korea’s Transport Ministry had agreed to look into increasing the trucking freight charges system to cowl extra merchandise. On Tuesday this week, November 22, the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU) introduced that the union had determined to renew the strike because of the authorities’s failure to extend the minimal wage and hold its promise to resume the Protected Trucking Freight Charges system.

It’s estimated that over 22,000 unionized truckers walked off the job earlier right this moment. Whereas it is just a small fraction of Korea’s greater than 420,000 unionized drivers, stories point out that the union leaders instructed members to dam key transport areas, together with in Uiwang, Busan, and Pyeongtaek. These cities are dwelling to South Korea’s main industrial crops and ports.

Among the many areas focused by the drivers are South Korea’s principal container ports. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport confirmed that container motion was off by 60 % right this moment with lower than 15,000 TEU dealt with at ports together with Busan and Gwangyang.

Members of the CTSU are reported to be concentrated in essential sectors together with the cargo of cement, metal, cars, and petrochemicals in addition to containers. They’ve additionally grown in quantity to characterize greater than half the petroleum tank truck drivers. 

Hyundai Metal mentioned through the first day of the strike it couldn’t transfer over 8,000 tons of metal merchandise at its Pohang manufacturing facility. Different industries are prone to be hit if the strike continues together with the automakers. Through the strike in June, Hyundai automobile manufacturing on the Ulsan manufacturing facility fell to under 60 % of the traditional output and the commerce ministry estimates the June strike value automakers greater than $188 million.

“Now we have no alternative however to cease all logistics in Korea,” mentioned CTSU Head Lee Bong-ju. “The federal government and the ruling get together misled, and overtly defended capital saying that truckers’ earnings ranges weren’t low and if the Protected Freight Price system have been expanded, costs may rise resulting from elevated logistics prices.”

Citing the rising value of gas, the drivers have been demanding elevated minimal wages in addition to the renewal of the speed system, which ensures minimal cargo charges for truck drivers and units security guidelines. The system was launched in 2020 and expires on the finish of this 12 months, whereas the union is demanding a three-year extension. 

Talking earlier this week, the transport minister argued that the Protected Freight Price system has been confirmed to not enhance the protection of truckers, insisting it’s designed to boost trucking earnings whereas rising logistics prices. The federal government nonetheless indicated that it was supporting the extension of the system however in line with the union it could solely be renewed for container and cement truckers.

The federal government had threatened in June to interrupt up the strike however was in a position to get the drivers again to work with a promise of additional negotiations. The CTSU contends there was no progress prior to now six months saying that it’s ready to strike till laws to make the Protected Charges system everlasting and develop the protection to extra sectors is handed within the Nationwide Meeting.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport responded by saying it was taking steps to minimize the influence of the most recent walkout whereas warning fast motion if the drivers took unlawful actions blocking shipments. They’ve threatened to impose a back-to-work order that may be punishable by jail and fines.


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