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(LEAD) Railway strike continues for 5th day without major disruptions

National 16:22 November 24, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout)

SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Yonhap) -- Train services across South Korea dwindled to about half of normal levels on Sunday as unionized railway workers continued their strike for the fifth consecutive day.

KTX bullet trains were running at 68.9 percent of the usual level on Sunday, while the Saemaeul and Mugunghwa lines were operating at 58.3 and 62.5 percent of normal levels, respectively, according to Korea Railroad, the state rail operator also known as KORAIL.

Cargo services were running at 34.2 percent of the general operative level, according to the state railway operator.

Around 11,500 members of the 21,000-strong union are taking part in the strike, demanding additional employment and wage hikes, according to the union.

The strike began Wednesday, with no set deadline.

Since Saturday evening, the railway union and the management of KORAIL, have been in negotiations to end the strike.

No major traffic disruptions were reported as the strike entered its fifth day, however, as passengers substituted train rides with express buses or other transportation.

Still, long lines gathered at major railway stations across the country as passengers tried to buy tickets that quickly sold out.

Some manufacturers, including cement makers in North Chungcheong Province, reported delays in their shipment schedules.

Passengers wait in line to buy train tickets at Yongsan Station in Seoul on Nov. 24, 2019, as a railway strike continues for the fifth consecutive day. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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