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[Editorial] Truckers Are Ruining It for the Rest of Us

Posted May. 14, 2003 22:20,   


The truckers` strike which started in Pohang has now spread across the nation to the Seoul metropolitan area. With Busan Port in a state of paralysis, exports are continuing to suffer. Foreign investors also are showing less and less willingness to invest in Korea. A national disaster is unfolding right before our very eyes. The government has done nothing thus far, allowing the situation to spiral out of control. We, as citizens, are also sick and tired of the excessive demands and collective interest of the striking truckers.

The logistics industry constitutes the core of the economic future envisioned by our government. The future is now facing a sink-or-swim situation. Nonetheless, the Roh administration continues to sit on its hands. It is true however, that the truckers` strike differs from "ordinary" labor disputes. This though, does not justify the helplessness the government has shown thus far.

Foreign as well as domestic transportation companies are showing signs of leaving the country. The world’s 3rd largest port in Busan is sure to be hit hard. Once these companies leave, they will be gone for good, and in the end, the less cargo that comes to Korea, the less money the truckers will make. Basically, the truckers are sinking all of us, including themselves, to the bottom of the East Sea.

The truckers at least should first normalize operations. Right now, President Roh is meeting and persuading U.S. investors to put their money into the Korean economy. But here are the truckers, in the way of our future and mocking the rest of our efforts.

Government officials should resume talks with truckers as soon as possible, and persuade them to stop. The principles of the law should absolutely be abided by as going against them in any way is bound to start a negative precedent for future actions on the part of unionists. It is essential for us, all working for the same thing, to revamp any weaknesses demonstrated this time around so that it never happens again.

There is no excuse for allowing this strike to continue. It is clouding the future not only for Busan Port, but also for the entire nation. Truckers should know that, without compromise, South Koreans will never accept or endorse their cause. The continuing strike is eating away at all our economy; how can truckers explain this away?