&#91EDITORIALS&#93Standing up to chaos

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&#91EDITORIALS&#93Standing up to chaos

The government’s action to end the cargo transportation disruption caused by the striking independent truckers, under the Korea Cargo Transport Workers Federation, was absolutely right. It has maintained the law and principles without compromising with the interest group that tried to hold the national economy hostage. Now the situation is back to normal. Such a determined posture will certainly serve as a warning against various other interest groups.
People who felt uneasy over the “participatory government’s” approach and capability in handling collective actions are somewhat relieved now. Foreign businesses and investors, who were suspicious of the government’s pro-labor tendency and policy orientation, will notice a changed atttitude.
Now the government must relieve the suffering that the contract truckers had long endured. The independent truckers, who own 90 percent of trucks nationwide, pay 200,000 won ($170) to cargo transport companies every month. This is because it takes at least five trucks to register as a transport company. The government must introduce a system enabling a trucker with one vehicle to register as a business owner. The multistage contract system should be changed, too.
The fundamental cause of the strike was that a sharp rise in trucks compared to a slow rise in cargo has created an imbalance in supply and demand. The number of trucks should be reduced. Without such efforts, there will be no stability in the market, nor prevention of another chaotic disruption.
Although the government ended the disruption, its relations with labor are tense. The Korean Confederation of Labor Unions has warned that it will ratchet up its fight against the government by staging outdoor rallies and mobilizing vehicles, if the government searches its office in an attempt to arrest leaders of the cargo transport workers federation. But the president should not pay attention. Instead, he should follow the law and principles. Public opinion is overwhelmingly against the union’s statement. If the present policy is firmly maintained, the government will get support from within and without.
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