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The third day of the South Korean truckers' strike increases supply chain risks

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Thousands of South Korean truckers went on strike for a third consecutive day on Thursday to protest the ...


Image: Reuters


Berita 24 English - Thousands of South Korean truckers went on strike for a third consecutive day on Thursday to protest the sharp rise in fuel prices, disrupting production, impacting port activity, and posing new risks to an already strained global supply chain.

The country's transport ministry reported that approximately 7,200 members, or roughly 30 percent, of the Cargo Truckers Solidarity union were on strike, posing one of President Yoon Seok-first youl's major economic challenges.

A union official stated that the number of participating members was significantly higher, and that non-union truckers also participated.

Kim Jae-kwang, a senior union official, stated, "Due to soaring fuel prices and the government's inaction to protect our livelihood, our frustration continues to grow."

He stated that many truck drivers were on the verge of bankruptcy.

"Large cargo truck drivers pay an additional 3 million won per month in fuel costs, in addition to their monthly salary of between 3 and 4 million won."

Since the start of the strike, POSCO has been unable to ship approximately 35,000 tonnes of steel products per day from two of its plants, or roughly a third of its daily shipments from those plants.

A South Korean auto industry group referred to the strike as "extremely egotistical," stating that it would place additional strain on a sector harmed by the global chip shortage.

Yonhap news agency reported that truck drivers have refused to deliver components to Hyundai Motor Co.'s Ulsan plants, resulting in some production disruptions. Hyundai Motor Company declined to comment.

According to a representative of the Korean Shippers' Council, the impact is being felt at the ports.

"Currently, only a small amount of cargo is entering ports. Prior to yesterday, the situation may have appeared to be normal because some pre-arranged cargoes were being delivered, but the reality is that the situation is now extremely challenging."

The Cargo Truckers Solidarity union is affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, which is known for being more defiant in its actions than other large union groups.

Yonhap news reported that the police have made over two dozen arrests, including truckers union members who were blocking the entrance to the Hite Jinro brewery in Icheon, southeast of Seoul.

President Yoon cautioned strikers against using violence on Thursday and stated that the government is attempting to resolve the situation through dialogue.

"Under no circumstances will the public accept law violations or the use of violence," he told reporters.


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