South Korea truckers strike yet again with auto, battery supply chains at danger

South Korea truckers strike yet again with auto, battery supply chains at danger

  • 2nd nationwide strike considerably less than 6 months
  • Container traffic slows, no major harm yet – transport min
  • Truckers chant ‘We cease, the entire world will cease!’
  • Minister warns of ‘strict crack’ if vans obstruct law enforcement
  • Sectors from autos to petrochemicals could be disrupted

UIWANG, South Korea, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Unionised truckers in South Korea kicked off their 2nd main strike in a lot less than 6 months on Thursday, threatening to disrupt producing and fuel supplies for industries from autos to petrochemicals in the world’s 10th-most significant economic system.

With fuel costs soaring, the truckers are contacting on the governing administration to make long-lasting a minimum amount-spend technique identified as the ‘Safe Freight Rate’ that is owing to expire by the stop of the yr, and to broaden rewards for truckers in other industries, like oil tankers.

The governing administration has claimed it will increase the scheme for three many years but rejected other union requires. In June, an 8-working day, non-violent strike by truckers delayed cargo shipments throughout Asia’s fourth-largest financial state, costing a lot more than $1.2 billion in misplaced output and unmet deliveries in advance of it finished with every facet declaring it gained concessions.

The organising union kicked off 16 rallies across the state on Thursday morning, which includes at a port in Ulsan that houses Hyundai Motor’s (005380.KS) key manufacturing plant.

The union estimated about 22,000 are getting element in the rallies, although the transportation ministry reported about 9,600 persons attended, and there have been no clashes with police checking activities.

As a noisy rally received underneath way at transportation hub Uiwang, 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Seoul, hundreds of truckers marched all around the depot – viewed by a major law enforcement existence – carrying banners and carrying headbands with the slogan “Unite Fight”. They chanted, “We end, the planet will prevent!” and “Let’s cease driving to change the globe!”.

Union officers said about a thousand truckers collected at the rally, in which the head of the union’s Seoul metropolitan place branch, Lee Kwang-jae, told them to just take up crucial positions to check out to block any makes an attempt to make shipments. A person man or woman leading the protesters termed out to a container truck producing for a depot, “Do not embarrass you by working. Be a part of us!”

They planned to split in two groups, with fifty percent keeping at Uiwang and the other 50 percent heading to Pyeongtaek, about 44 kilometres (27 miles) away, which is near to ports serving China.

At Busan, South Korea’s most important port, law enforcement officers and buses ended up noticed lined up together crucial routes.

Guide organiser the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU) has warned the strike could prevent oil materials at big refineries and transport at big ports and industrial vegetation.

Container targeted visitors at ports has dropped to 40% as opposed to usual ranges given that the strike commenced, the transport ministry stated late Thursday, but extra no significant injury experienced been documented so considerably as companies moved shipments pre-emptively.

The union has said nearly all of CTSU’s 25,000 customers, about 6% of the country’s truck drivers, will acquire portion in the strike, joined by an unspecified variety of non-union users.

The transport ministry approximated that about 8,000 people ended up camped out at 14 regions to protest overnight on Thursday.

“We have no decision but to cease all logistics in Korea,” reported Lee Bong-ju, head of the union, on Thursday.


Previously this week, Transportation Minister Received Hee-ryong stated the Protected Freight Level process had not been established to make improvements to the security of truckers but to only raise their incomes, a explanation why the govt has refused to expand the scope of the scheme. examine much more

“The authorities and the ruling get together misled, and openly defended money saying that truckers’ earnings amounts were being not small – and that if the Protected Freight Fee system were being expanded, price ranges could rise due to improved logistics charges,” Lee reported.

The union is inquiring the govt to assure big corporations are held accountable if they violate the minimal wages rule.

“Frontline truck motorists really should not be sympathetic to unjustified collective action. We will strictly crack down on truck drivers’ obstruction with the law enforcement so that secure transportation can be ensured,” Transport Minister Won mentioned on Thursday.

The transport ministry stated the governing administration is open up to “sensible” dialogue, but union head Lee said that the ministry unilaterally stalled negotiations and have not manufactured formal request for dialogue since.

Field giants including Hyundai Motor and steelmaker POSCO (005490.KS) were pressured to minimize output by the June strike.

“If the cargo union strike continues, it will place much too a great deal of a stress on not only major industries, but also people’s livelihoods and the national economy,” explained Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on Thursday.

Firms these types of as Hyundai Steel (004020.KS), petrochemical corporations and a battery maker advised Reuters that because the strike was anticipated, urgent agreement volumes were being shipped out and essential raw materials were ready in progress. However, limits in storage place and logistics would make the strike problematic if it lasted.

A Hyundai Metal spokesperson said its every day shipment of about 8,000 tonnes of metal products and solutions at its Pohang manufacturing unit could not be moved on Thursday thanks to the strike.

The government is deploying alternatives this kind of as navy-operate container transport automobiles and considering securing extra storage place in scenario cargoes pile up. Some business officials famous that navy cars could not be outfitted to carry items these kinds of as steel or contemporary make.

The Korea Oil Station Affiliation is asking gasoline station proprietors to secure adequate inventory in advance of the strike, an affiliation official claimed previously, though charging stations for hydrogen-run vehicles have place up signs warning that provide could be cut.

Reporting by Ju-min Park and Heekyong Yang Added reporting by Soo-hyang Choi Crafting by Joyce Lee Enhancing by Catherine Evans and Kenneth Maxwell

Our Criteria: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.