Truckers end 5-day strike, agree to 9.9% raise in fees

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Truckers end 5-day strike, agree to 9.9% raise in fees

The five-day nationwide strike by the Korean Transport Workers’ Union ended early yesterday morning after 67 percent of its members supported an agreement reached over a raise in transportation fees.

Concluding marathon negotiations that stretched from 3 p.m. on Thursday until 7 a.m. yesterday, the truckers’ union and the Container Transportation and Container Yard Operator’s Association agreed to raise the fees by 9.9 percent.

This was considerably lower than the 30 percent hike requested during the first round of talks on Wednesday, but was roughly double the association’s counter-proposal.

Following the agreement, truckers voted at the union’s 13 regional branches to determine whether or not they should end the strike.

The union also initially demanded government fuel subsidies, industrial accident compensation insurance for all truckers and standard freight prices with a minimum charge established.

The government said it would recommend an industry standard, but that this would not be enforceable by law, arguing that is beyond its jurisdiction. The union rejected the offer.

In a statement issued after officially ending the strike, the union made clear that it would work with political parties to push for the legalization of standard freight charges.

“We will strive to make changes through the legislature as there are still a number of issues to be resolved,” the statement said.

It added that the collective action served to “let people know about the poor working conditions facing cargo truckers” as well as “the need to fix structural problems in the industry.”

By Kang Jin-kyu, We Sung-wook []
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