New truck drivers strike in South Korea threatens industry

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Union truck drivers in South Korea on Thursday began their second major strike in less than six months, threatening to cut off manufacturing and fuel supplies to industries from automotive to petrochemicals in the world’s 10th-largest economy.

With fuel prices rising, truck drivers are asking the government to make permanent a minimum payment system known as the Secure Freight Fee, which is set to expire by the end of the year.

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The government has said it will extend the scheme for three years, but has rejected other union demands. In June, an eight-day non-violent strike delayed cargo shipments in South Korea, costing more than $1.2 billion in lost production and missed deliveries.

The union organizing the movement kicked off 16 demonstrations across the country on Thursday morning, including at a port in Ulsan, home to Hyundai’s main factory.

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The union estimated that around 22,000 people are taking part in the protests, while the transport ministry said around 9,600 people turned out, and there were no clashes with police.

The Cargo Truck Drivers Solidarity Union (CTSU), the main organizer of the protests, warned that the strike could interrupt the supply of oil in the main refineries and transport in the main ports and factories.

Container traffic at ports has dropped to 40% compared with normal levels since the shutdown began, the Transport Ministry said on Thursday, but added that no major damage had been reported so far as companies moved containers. preemptive loads.

Companies including Hyundai Steel, petrochemicals and a battery maker told Reuters that as the strike was expected, urgent contract volumes had been sent in advance, as well as the preparation of necessary raw materials. However, storage space and logistical limits could be an issue if the strike extends.

Source: CNN Brasil

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