South Korea’s authorities will meet a hanging truckers’ union for the primary talks of a five-day nationwide walkout, as provide chain glitches worsen and concrete runs out at constructing websites.
The authorities, which estimates every day losses at about 300 billion received ($224m) as provides of cement and gas for filling stations run brief, raised its warning of cargo transport disruption to the best degree.
But the union held out little prospect of a breakthrough within the second main strike inside lower than six months, as hundreds of truckers demand higher pay and dealing circumstances.
“The transport ministry’s position is already set, and there is no room for negotiations, so this meeting is not a negotiation … the content is a demand for an unconditional return to work,” the union mentioned in a press release on Sunday.
The strike is disrupting industrial exercise at a time when Asia’s fourth-largest economic system, which relies on exports, faces lower-than-expected development subsequent 12 months, with the central financial institution having downgraded its 2023 forecast to 1.7 p.c from 2.1 p.c.
“We need to establish a rule of law between labour and management,” President Yoon Suk-yeol Yoon mentioned on Monday, in response to the presidential workplace.
Yoon, who has criticised the strike as taking the nation’s logistics “hostage” within the face of an financial disaster, will maintain a cupboard assembly on Tuesday to think about ordering the truckers to return to their jobs, his workplace mentioned.
The legislation permits the federal government to difficulty such an order throughout a critical transport disruption, and failure to conform could be punished with as much as three years in jail or a high-quality of as much as 30 million received ($22,550).
The strike organiser, Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU), has criticised the federal government for being unwilling to develop a minimum-pay system past an additional three years, as an alternative of assembly union calls for to make it everlasting and widen its scope.
Container site visitors at ports was 21 p.c of regular ranges by 10am on Monday, the transport ministry mentioned, towards Friday’s determine of 49 p.c.
The metal business, together with POSCO and Hyundai Steel, noticed shipments greater than halve to 22,000 tonnes on Sunday, down from the same old common of 46,000 tonnes, the transport ministry mentioned.
Some filling stations may run out of petrol and kerosene as early as this week, particularly in giant cities, regardless of provides secured earlier than the strike.
That is as a result of 70-80 p.c of truckers for main refiners, reminiscent of SK Innovation’s SK Energy and S-Oil Corp, are union members on strike.
Since final week, 259 out of 459 constructing websites have suspended ready-mix concrete work, the Yonhap information company mentioned, whereas the transport ministry mentioned most websites have been anticipated to expire by Tuesday.
The cement business estimated an accrued output lack of about 46.four billion received ($35m) by Saturday, with shipments right down to 9 p.c of typical ranges, the Korea Cement Association mentioned.
“Non-union bulk cement truck owners, who are implicitly sympathetic to, or in fear of, the cargo union’s illegal activities, are giving up cement transport,” the foyer group mentioned in a press release.