Freight truckers launch 3-day strike to demand freight rate hikes
Cargo Truckers Solidarity (CTS), made up of independent truck drivers and people working for companies, said its members across the country called a general strike earlier in the day to demand an extension of the Safe Trucking Freight Rates System “designed to prevent dangerous driving and guarantee minimum freight rates for truck drivers.
The safe freight rate system came into effect last year to impose fines on shipping companies that do not pay some freight truck drivers an adequate freight rate, but is expected to expire next year due to a three-year sunset clause.
Unionized truck drivers are also demanding a complete extension of the safe freight rate system to cover all kinds of trucks and goods, increased freight costs, full coverage of workers’ compensation insurance and worker protection. fundamental labor rights.
The CTS said its first general strike since 2016 will be staged at major seaports and logistics bases, and its members plan to hold a massive protest rally in Seoul on Saturday.
“Freight truck drivers are being forced to drive dangerously, overwork and overload due to a sharp rise in diesel prices and other costs and income cuts,” said a CTS official, calling for efforts to improve road safety by guaranteeing a minimum income for truckers.
Industry watchers fear logistical disruption, especially in container shipping, as many of the drivers of the country’s 8,500 container trucks and 1,500 cement trucks are affiliated with CTS.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it would continue to seek talks with the task force while implementing emergency transport countermeasures to minimize damage.
Ministry officials said the strike is expected to have limited impact on logistics, as only 5 percent of the country’s commercial freight trucks, or 22,000 vehicles, are union members. (Yonhap)