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(LEAD) Yoon ready to issue executive order for striking truckers in fuel and steel industries to return to work

Politics 16:24 December 04, 2022

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; ADDS more info throughout, photos)

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed officials Sunday to prepare an executive order for striking truckers in the fuel and steel industries to return to work amid logistics disruptions caused by the collective action.

Yoon told officials to "prepare to immediately issue an administrative order for industries, such as oil and steel, that are feared to incur additional damage" as he presided over a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers on the topic of the ongoing strike.

The move came five days after Yoon invoked a back-to-work order for cement truck drivers. He did not provide a specific time frame for a second executive order.

The strike entered its 11th day on Sunday. Truckers have demanded the government permanently guarantee minimum wage. The strike has caused major disruptions of shipments of cement and steel supplies and began to take a toll on the oil refinery sector.

Yoon also asked the relevant ministers to take all necessary administrative measures for stern actions against what he called a "serious threat to the rule of law," saying the striking truckers hold the economy hostage for their own interest.

President Yoon Suk-yeol (C) presides over a meeting with ministers and other Cabinet members at the presidential office in Seoul on Dec. 4, 2022, in this photo released by the presidential office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol (C) presides over a meeting with ministers and other Cabinet members at the presidential office in Seoul on Dec. 4, 2022, in this photo released by the presidential office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The government said shipments from major ports and cement production sites have been recovering since an executive return-to-work order on striking cement truckers was issued last week.

Container shipments from 12 major ports around the country from 5 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday recovered to 12,782 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), marking 33 percent of the normal level. The figures more than doubled from 6,208 TEU tallied a week ago.

At the Busan port, the country's biggest maritime gateway, the daily container shipment level rose to 42 percent of the average as of Sunday morning.

The oil refinery sector, however, is suffering increasing supply disruptions due to the protracted strike by cargo truckers.

Some 74 gas stations across the country had run out of fuel as of 2 p.m. Sunday, with more gas stations set to suffer fuel shortages, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

A total of 781,000 tons of oil shipments, worth more than 1 trillion won (US$768 million), have been put on hold for the past 10 days, added the trade ministry.

A notice reading "Gasoline Sold Out" is posted at a gas station in Seoul on Dec. 4, 2022, amid a nationwide strike by unionized truckers that has disrupted supply chains in the country's key industries. (Yonhap)

A notice reading "Gasoline Sold Out" is posted at a gas station in Seoul on Dec. 4, 2022, amid a nationwide strike by unionized truckers that has disrupted supply chains in the country's key industries. (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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