Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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Truckers return to work after more than a week of strikes in South Korea

After an eight day strike, the truckers’ union and transport ministry in South Korea came to an agreement late Tuesday. On Wednesday, truckers across the nation went back to work.

In the agreement, the transport ministry and the truckers’ union agreed to extend the truckers’ minimum freight rates and continue the discussion of expanding a guarantee of minimum pay for carrying cargo to cover additional products. Another term in the agreement says the transport ministry will evaluate expanding fuel subsidies.

The strike began on Tuesday, June 7, with around 7,000 truckers from South Korea taking part in the protests.

The world had already been navigating through a global supply chain crisis, and the strikes added more port and shipment disruptions. Steel mills, automotive plants, petrochemical complexes and microchip processors were hit hard during the weeklong hiatus.

After the government and industry urged truckers to come back to work, Monday the military was called in to transport containers from the ports in order to continue some flow in distribution.

Before reaching a deal, on Tuesday the truckers’ union released a statement saying that the strike would be continuing until an agreement was made. The union also criticized the transport ministry, saying it was “neither willing to talk nor capable of resolving the current situation.”

South Korea’s industry lost over $1.2 billion in lost output and in deliveries that weren’t made.



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