South Korea weighs ordering striking truckers back to work

Concrete mixer trucks are parked at a factory due to a strike by a truckers' union in Anyang, South Korea November 28, 2022. Yonhap via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's government will decide on Tuesday whether to take the unprecedented step of invoking tough strike-busting laws to end a six-day stoppage by truck drivers which is hurting the economy, the presidential office said.

President Yoon Suk-yeol will preside over a cabinet meeting to discuss issuing a start-work order after the government failed to reach a deal with unions in talks on Monday.

The strike - the second in less than six months by truckers demanding minimum pay - is disrupting industrial activity at a time when Asia's fourth-largest economy expects a slump in growth to 1.7% next year.

Yoon's office said cabinet would consider becoming the first South Korean administration to issue an order to force striking transport workers back to their jobs.

Failure to comply can lead to punishments such as cancellation of licences and three years in jail, or a fine of up to 30 million won ($22,550).

If approved, the order would be executed without delay, Transport Minister Won Hee-ryong said.

Strike organiser Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU) called the start-work order "undemocratic and anti-constitutional", and evidence of the government's unwillingness to engage in dialogue.

"The CTSU will not yield to this pan-government crackdown," the union said in a statement on late Monday.

The union plans to hold 16 rallies nationwide on Tuesday, it added.

The government is unwilling to expand a minimum pay system beyond a further three years, while the union says it should be permanent and wider in scope.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Iranian film director Jafar Panahi starts hunger strike in prison - rights group
Couple ditch baby at Israel airport check-in counter instead of buying extra ticket
Brazil senator says Bolsonaro associate planned conspiracy with former president
Lula's Amazon pledge looks distant as Brazil battles deforestation
Analysis: Ukraine's new weapon will force a Russian shift
Plenty of Americans are drinking bleach, still for sale on Amazon
Austria expels four Russian envoys for breaching international agreements
Iran says IAEA stance on nuclear work "incorrect" - Mizan
Tesla can’t duck defect trial over double-fatal 2016 wreck
Russia vows to push Ukrainian army back in response to longer-range rockets

Others Also Read