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(LEAD) Gov't orders striking truckers in fuel, steel sectors to return to work

Politics 10:13 December 08, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS remarks, details in paras 3-8)

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Thursday that the government issued an order for striking truckers serving the petrochemical and steel industries to return to work, as their strike entered its 15th day amid growing disruptions of supply chains.

The order was approved in an extraordinary Cabinet session presided over by Han and it was the second back-to-work order after the government ordered striking truckers in the cement industry back to their jobs last week.

Han said the truckers' nationwide walkout is posing a significant threat to the economy.

"The prolonged unjustifiable refusal of transportation is seriously damaging to our industry and economy," Han told the session.

Han said the second order was inevitable because the strike is likely to disrupt shipments of key exports, including semiconductors and automobiles.

"In particular, disruptions in shipments of steel and petrochemical products are likely to expand to key industries, such as automobiles, shipbuilding and semiconductors, spreading to the overall crisis of the Korean economy," Han said.

Han renewed calls for striking truckers to end their strike.

"The government's stance is firm. The government will not compromise on the illegality and hold them accountable," Han said.

Since Nov. 24, thousands of cargo truck drivers have staged the strike to demand the extension of a freight rate system guaranteeing minimum wages.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo speaks at an extraordinary Cabinet session on Dec. 8, 2022. (Yonhap)

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo speaks at an extraordinary Cabinet session on Dec. 8, 2022. (Yonhap)


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