On Friday, local media revealed that South Korean President Yoon Sok Yul warned against taking measures to force striking truck drivers to return to work.
The warning came after thousands of truck drivers went on strike on Thursday to demand wage subsidies, disrupting supply chains across the country.
“While citizens and businesses as well as the government are working together to overcome the crisis, members of the Cargo Truck Drivers’ Solidarity (CTSU), which operates under the wing of the Korea Federation of Trade Unions, have launched an indefinite strike,” Yoon wrote in a Facebook post. The local agency “Yonhap”.
“We will not tolerate logistical systems being taken hostage in the event of a national crisis. If truck drivers continue their irresponsible strike, the government will have no choice but to consider various measures, including issuing a start-up order,” he added.
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“Under local law, the government can take an executive order to start work if logistics companies or workers cause major disruptions in the delivery of goods by unjustifiably refusing to work,” the media reported.
And the South Korean president warned: “We will respond strictly in accordance with law and principles to all illegal actions… I intend to make it clear that what we seek cannot be achieved through illegal violence.”
It is noteworthy that in the event of refusal of government orders, violators of government orders face a prison sentence of up to 3 years, or a fine of $ 22,500.
Nearly 11,000 people took part in the nationwide CTSU strike, demanding an extension of temporary laws guaranteeing minimum freight rates that guarantee basic wages, amid soaring fuel prices.
The rules are expected to expire at the end of this year.
In this regard, the Korean Ministry of Industry said in a statement Friday, “The nationwide truck drivers strike affected the logistics services of the cement, steel and iron industries, in a move that may further disrupt the operations of the broader industry sectors.”
Last June, truck drivers went on strike for nearly a week in response to the rise in fuel prices, calling on the government to intervene. The strike disrupted the transportation of goods and caused financial losses.
The strike also affected domestic production, causing losses of $1.2 billion, according to media reports.
The truck drivers called off their strike after reaching an agreement with the country’s transport ministry.