Gas runs dry at South Korean petrol stations as truckers strike | Enterprise and Economic system


Practically 100 petrol stations throughout nation run out of gas as 25,000 truckers show over pay.

A nationwide strike by South Korean truckers has led almost 100 petrol stations throughout the nation to run dry, authorities knowledge present, as a nationwide commerce union introduced it might launch a normal strike in help of the drivers.

The truckers’ strike over a minimal pay programme, which started on November 24, has seen two negotiation classes between the union and the federal government, however thus far there was no breakthrough.

As provides of gas and building supplies run low, the South Korean authorities has stepped up strain to finish the strike.

President Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday ordered preparations to concern a return-to-work order for drivers in sectors akin to oil refining and steelmaking, the place further financial injury is anticipated. Yoon final week invoked such an order, the primary within the nation’s historical past, for two,500 truckers within the cement trade.

The Korean Confederation of Commerce Unions (KCTU), an umbrella union underneath which the truckers’ union falls, has known as the president’s “begin work” order the equal of martial regulation and says the federal government ought to negotiate.

The KCTU mentioned it had deliberate a walkout on Tuesday to help the truckers’ protests.

As of Monday afternoon, almost 100 petrol stations had run out of gas. About 60 % of them had been in Seoul and Gyeonggi province, a densely populated area close to the capital, in line with Korea Nationwide Oil Corp knowledge. That’s up from the 21 petrol stations that the trade ministry had mentioned had been out of gas on November 28.

Amid hovering gas prices, as many as 25,000 truckers are calling on the federal government to supply a everlasting minimum-pay system often known as the “Protected Freight Price”, which was launched briefly in 2020 for a small portion of greater than 400,000 truckers.

Of their second strike in lower than six months, these truckers are combating the bitter chilly and the federal government’s narrative that they’re effectively paid “labour aristocracy”.

The Yoon administration has maintained it might not give in to the union’s calls for. The federal government has mentioned it might lengthen the present program for 3 extra years.

The impact of a normal strike is unclear and will depend on participation, mentioned Han Sang-jin, a KCTU spokesperson.
Labour Minister Lee Jung-sik mentioned on Monday {that a} normal strike wouldn’t win public help.

The strikes have disrupted South Korea’s provide chain and value greater than 3.2 trillion received ($2.44bn) in misplaced shipments over the primary 10 days, the trade ministry mentioned on Sunday.

Losses are anticipated to have grown in numerous industries, however visitors at ports has barely improved to 69 % of its pre-strike common for the reason that back-to-work order was issued, in line with the federal government.

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