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Truckers' strike cripples cargo transportation at major seaports

All Headlines 17:19 June 27, 2012

BUSAN, June 27 (Yonhap) -- Thousands of South Korean truck drivers refused to work Wednesday for the third consecutive day, crippling cargo transportation at major seaports, officials said.

About 3,000 unionized truck drivers have been on strike since Monday, demanding the government increase fees and reduce fuel costs, according to the transportation ministry.

On Tuesday, a total of 17,717 containers were moved in or out of the port in Busan, the nation's largest, compared with a daily average of 44,000 before the walkout, officials said.

Busan handles more than 70 percent of South Korea's container traffic.

The movement of cargo was also disrupted at the western port city of Pyeongtaek.

A total of 648 containers were moved in or out of the Pyeongtaek port on Wednesday morning, accounting for only 27.2 percent of daily average cargo traffic.

The military has mobilized 100 container vehicles and 200 drivers to the major ports to help minimize disruptions to cargo transportation.

On Wednesday afternoon, representatives from the union and the transportation ministry started negotiations to end the strike, ministry officials said.

Police said they are investigating 18 suspects for alleged wrongdoings presumed to be related to the nationwide truckers' strike.

A total of 30 cases of illegal acts have been reported and the police have identified 18 suspects allegedly responsible and launched an investigation, according to the National Police Agency.

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