[EDITORIALS]A self-defeating tacticThe independent trailer truckers union decided to stage rallies blockading cargo transports. Following the first case in May, a second cargo transportation meltdown is doomed.
It is said that the union resorted to stronger action because some truckers directed their discontent at the leaders of the union, who were unable to get the most out of previous negotiations with cargo companies. Union leaders now say they cannot control their members. We are concerned that transportation chaos will occur around the Chuseok holidays.
Such extreme measures should never be allowed. Even if the union’s demands are legitimate, such an action, driving the economy into ruin, will never receive public support. Before the first strike in May, the Busan port had been internationally considered safe in terms of public security, and ranked third among the world’s container transportation ports. Now its rank has dropped to fifth.
What is the union trying to achieve? It may succeed in temporarily paralyzing cargo transport. But if Korea’s economic reliability drops, our difficulties will be aggravated. It is only a matter of time before not only cargo transport but the number of jobs decreases. If that happens, freight rate increases, which the union members have eagerly longed for, will become even more difficult to achieve.
The union and its members should see reason right away. They should not make it their business to shake the foundations of the nation and to infringe upon the legal order of society. They should remember that the freight rate increase for container truckers was already virtually achieved last month through normal negotiations with cargo companies.
They should return to work and then negotiate. That is how they and the nation’s economy can survive together. They will also have to present their demands in a way that can merit public support.
The government should prepare measures to minimize damage from the strike and rallies. It should address the union’s grievances rationally, and at the same time should strictly control any illegal behavior by the union.