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DP accepts gov't, ruling party plan on extending freight rate system for truckers

Politics 14:56 December 08, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) said Thursday it will accept the government's proposal to extend a freight rate system guaranteeing minimum wages for truckers amid growing concerns over a nationwide strike that has disrupted supply chains.

Following a policy consultation meeting in November, the government and the People Power Party (PPP) announced they will extend the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System system for another three years beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of the year.

Despite the proposal, thousands of cargo truck drivers went on strike on Nov. 24, calling on the government to make the system permanent and expand it to include not only truckers delivering cargo and cement but also drivers in other sectors.

"We will accept the three-year extension plan proposed as the result of the policy consultation meeting and revise it," a DP lawmaker on the parliamentary infrastructure and transportation committee said in a press conference Thursday.

"It is the least we can do to prevent the strike from continuing and economic damage growing due to the Yoon Suk-yeol government's labor oppression, as well as sustaining the freight rate system," the lawmaker said.

In turn, the DP urged the PPP to swiftly pass the revision and launch a consultative body, consisting of equal numbers of ruling and main opposition lawmakers, to discuss expanding the system to more drivers.

Citing significant threats to the economy, the government has sternly dealt with the walkout and issued back-to-work orders to striking truckers in the cement, petrochemical and steel industries.

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions rally in solidarity with striking truckers in the central city of Daejeon on Dec. 6, 2022. (Yonhap)

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions rally in solidarity with striking truckers in the central city of Daejeon on Dec. 6, 2022. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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