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Logistics Fears Rise Amid Impending Truckers` Strike

Posted May. 18, 2009 07:42,   


Unionized workers among the 15,000 truck drivers across Korea will go on a general strike soon.

While the timing of the strike will be determined later, the work stoppage is feared to revive the logistics crisis last year. The trucker`s union is a member of the militant Korea Confederation of Trade Unions.

The truckers’ union held a general meeting in Daejeon Saturday with some 7,000 members attending. They voted in favor of the strike by raising their hands, while asking the union’s leaders when and how to strike.

The decision came after the leader of the union’s Gwangju branch committed suicide earlier this month to protest Korea Express, which fired 78 parcel delivery workers who wanted a hike in service fees.

“If the government and employers fail to come to the negotiating table with a sincere attitude, we will resort to all means possible, including highway blockades,” said union leader Kim Dal-shik.

The union wants the 78 workers reinstated and basic labor rights respected. As the union plans to urge unions of railway, port, construction and public workers go on a solidarity strike, fears are rising that the strike could spread to the entire labor community.

At a rally after the union’s meeting, confederation chairman Lim Sung-kyu said his organization will advance its schedule for a general strike.

Members of the truck drivers’ union and other demonstrators participating in the rally clashed with police after getting off the planned course for their street march. Protesters resisted fiercely, wielding bamboo sticks and hurling rocks, injuring some 100 police officers.

Police said 457 protesters arrested for using violence will be punished severely.

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