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South Korean truck drivers strike against fuel prices

The Asian nation joins a list of countries acting against inflation

Following recent Australasian fuel prices increase, truck drivers in South Korea took action last week to address costs and an unsafe system.

The South Korean drivers join a wealth of workers globally protesting against fuel price increases and unsafe conditions, as many drivers claim they are being forced to drive for longer and faster to compete with inflating prices.

Members of the Cargo Truckers Solidarity (CTS) union, which is affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) went on strike at 16 places around South Korea such as Hyundai Steel in Pohang, Busan, Incheon and Uiwang.

South Korean drivers are demanding increases in freight prices to match the fuel costs.

“While the average price of diesel fuel surpasses 2,000 won (per litre), cargo drivers are being pushed to the edge,” CTS’s Jeju Branch says.

“The solution is obvious – freight fares must rise as does the price of diesel.”

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Drivers also want the safe trucking freights rate system to be extended to further establish the legal minimum for freight prices and the goods covered in it.

But the CTS and KCTU are trying to isolate the strike and stop it from further impacting the industry and government, as the transport ministry says disruptions were minimal and that South Korea’s 12 ports continued operating normally.

The union says it is striking because the government and transport ministry aren’t openly communicating with them for a solution to the fuel price increase, while president Yoon Suk-yeol says the government will sort the issue through law and principles.

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