© Luigi Angelica

Protest against high fuel prices

South Korea, truck drivers up in arms

by Port News Editorial Staff

A nationwide strike in South Korea to protest against high fuel prices and make the case for renewing  the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System, introduced in 2020 to ensure fair transportation rates during the pandemic crisis period.

The strike has been called for by Cargo Truckers Solidarity, a union operating under the umbrella of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, earlier today.

The specialized sector magazine, The Loadstar, disclosed the news in an article reporting  that officials from the ministries (labour, interior and trade) concerned held an online discussion to address the situation.

According to a union official,  in light of the impact this general strike could have on the national economy, they  had tried to negotiate with the government, but the current regional  ministry had refused to discuss the matter.

Last month, the truckers’ union had threatened to go on an indefinite general strike, protesting that skyrocketing diesel prices were restricting their right to survival.

Many have decided to join the strike, putting pressure on some of the country’s busiest container ports, such as Busan, Gwangyang and Incheon.

As The Loadstar reported, Busan Port Authority has established an emergency response team and secured additional storage space for 20,200 TEUs in case the containers cannot be moved in time.

Yeosu Gwangyang Port Authority estimates that containers  in Gwangyang account for  about 61% of the port’s storage capacity and disruptions are unlikely to occur. However, temporary container storage has been provided in case the strike continues.

Translation by Giles Foster

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