Seoul Metro strike cancelled after agreement
A planned strike by union members of Seoul’s subway operator has been called off today after the workers and Seoul Metro, which runs subway lines No. 1 through 4, reached an agreement on pay and retirement age policy yesterday.
The imminent strike was expected to further disrupt the subway transit system which has already seen its schedules cut following the ongoing strike in the state run railway operator. Korea Railroad Corporation and Seoul Metro jointly oversee the operation of subway lines No. 1, 3, and 4 and the number of Korail-run subway line No. 3 was reduced by around 20 percent on Monday.
Members of the two subway labor unions- the Seoul Subway Labor Union and Seoul Metro Subway Labor Union- called for a later retirement age and higher retirement payments.
The subway operator agreed to gradually raise the retirement age from 58 to 60 by 2016 and offer higher retirement payments. The workers have called for the increase in compensation because they received a fewer amount of retirement benefits following Seoul Metro’s decision to cancel cumulative pension pay system last year.
Along with the agreement on the sticky issues, the two parties also agreed to increase this year’s salary by 2.8 percent.
While the Seoul Subway Labor Union, the largest trade union of Seoul Metro, sympathized with the Korail union’s cause, the Seoul Metro Subway Labor Union said its strike was only concerned with the working conditions of subway workers.
The labor union of Korail has been on their longest strike yet to protest the company’s decision to adopt a new unit to operate a new bullet train line that will open in 2015.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]