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    NewsAsiaHundreds of South Korean carriers demonstrate again despite strike suspension

    Hundreds of South Korean carriers demonstrate again despite strike suspension

    South Korean Transport Minister Won Hee Ryong during the transport strike – -/YNA/dpa

    Around a thousand South Korean carriers staged a sit-in in Seoul this Saturday to reiterate their demand for better wages and more job security despite the suspension on Friday of the strike in the sector that paralyzed the country for two weeks.

    The protesters are members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, who justified the suspension of the strike as a measure for the good of the employees, reports the official South Korean news agency Yonhap.

    “The fight has ended in paisa to protect the unstable industry that is logistics, and to minimize the damage caused to workers, according to union leader Lee Bong Joo, in relation to the order issued by the Government to return to work, whose rejection could have led to heavy fines.

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    After learning of the new order, the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union decided to hold a vote on Friday that resulted in almost 62 percent of votes in favor of ending the stoppage. Previously, the union section of the Busan port, one of the most important in the country, had already decided to suspend the strike without a vote.

    The orders of the South Korean government, which has been forced to resort to this regulation for the first time since the promulgation of the corresponding law in 2004, have had the support of the opposition Democratic Party.

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    However, and according to the official Yonhap news agency, some truckers have lamented the existence of a regulation that they consider unconstitutional: the law prohibits striking without justified reasons, but it never clarifies what reasons it could accept as valid.

    In fact, labor associations in the country have asked the International Labor Organization (ILO) to review whether the government order violates the basic rights of employees. The Ministry of Employment and Labor has confirmed that the United Nations agency sent a letter on behalf of Corinne Vargha, its director of international labor standards, requesting that the South Korean government clarify its position on the dispute.

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    The second transport strike in less than six months, after the one declared by the cement transport truckers, has cost the South Korean government some 2.6 billion dollars (about 2.4 billion euros).

    The conveners demanded an indefinite extension of the so-called Freight Rate System for Safe Cargo Transportation, which guarantees minimum wages, crucial for security and financial stability in the face of rising fuel prices.


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