© Reuters. Containers holding tires are stacked at a yard of a tire manufacturing unit on the eleventh day of a nationwide strike by truckers in Daejeon, South Korea December 4, 2022. Yonhap through REUTERS
By Choonsik Yoo and Josh Smith
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday ordered preparations for widening a back-to-work order past the cement trade amid a chronic truckers’ strike.
1000’s of South Korean truckers have been on strike for greater than 10 days, with negotiators for the federal government and unions making no progress on disagreements over minimal pay guidelines.
Yoon, a conservative, on Tuesday invoked a “begin work” order, the primary within the nation’s historical past, on 2,500 drivers within the cement trade, requiring them to return to the highway or face penalties.
On Sunday Yoon known as on authorities ministers to make preparations to situation a return-to-work order on such sectors as oil refining and steelmaking, the place extra injury is predicted, spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung mentioned in a press release.
Yoon known as for punishment of these violating legal guidelines through the strike, ordering ministers to take motion to minimise injury, reminiscent of using different drivers, army personnel and army gear.
The Korean Confederation of Commerce Unions, an umbrella group, is planning a common strike for Tuesday.
“I can’t however regard this deliberate strike as a politically motivated motion, fairly than one geared toward representing the employees’ rights,” Yoon mentioned, in response to Lee, signalling a doubtlessly harsh response from the federal government.
“Holding the folks’s residing and nationwide economic system hostage presently of financial problem makes the survival of weak, unorganised staff tougher and deprives future generations and most of the people of their future jobs,” Yoon mentioned.
The strikes have disrupted South Korea’s provide chain, and price 1.6 trillion received ($1.2 billion) in misplaced shipments over the primary seven days, the trade ministry mentioned on Thursday.
The federal government has mentioned it could not broaden a minimal pay system for truckers past an extra three years. The union says it needs to be everlasting and wider in scope.
1000’s demonstrated in downtown Seoul on Saturday in assist of the truckers’ calls for.