Incheon-Seoul express bus service to resume

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Incheon-Seoul express bus service to resume

The Samwha Express labor-management dispute that crippled commutes for 50,000 people between Incheon and Seoul was finally resolved yesterday, 37 days after bus drivers went on strike.

Regular operation for the major express bus company will begin at 5 a.m. tomorrow.

Samwha Express held negotiations with its union members yesterday morning at Incheon Metropolitan City Hall, signing off on a settlement after reaching an agreement on wages and the number of work days, among other disputed issues.

The settlement was approved by union members in a vote.

Workers of the company had demanded a 20.6 percent increase in their hourly wage and went on strike in October.

Samwha’s management, however, counteracted the strike with a lockout, resulting in suspended services for a total of 242 buses on 20 different routes, inconveniencing commuters between Incheon and Seoul who had to resort to alternative transportation such as subways and shuttles.

The union had also gone on a three-day strike earlier this year in July.

The new settlement included reduced working hours and a 6 percent increase in wages for inter-city bus drivers.


By Chung Ki-hwan [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]
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