Korea: rail-workers, dockers and truckers call off strike

striking rail workers in June

Unions for the three groups had arranged a coordinated strike action to begin today in support of their demands.

The government had declared the strike illegal and had mobilised hundreds of soldiers to try to keep the railways open over the weekend. This would have been the fourth such strike in South Korea since 2000. The unions have yet to confirm why they cancelled the action, with many workers told while they were preparing pickets only an hour before the official debut of action at 4am

The unions claim to have not backed down from their original demands of a 5% increase in wages for dockers and rail workers and fuel subsidies for truckers. They also demanded the reinstatement of sacked workers (2200 workers were sacked after strikes in 2006) and permanent jobs for contracted workers. News sources have speculated that a lack of public support was one of the reasons for the cancellation of action as the government has made no concessions.

The rail-workers union has 25000 members and without blockades or sympathy action expected to reduce services to around a third of normal. The 12000 dockers and truckers would have shut down docks and supply networks, with the possibility that truckers would have blocked transport routes as well.

Posted By

jef costello
Nov 16 2007 13:16

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