South Korea to hold first talks with striking truckers on Monday | Business and Economy

South Korea’s authorities will meet a placing 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 federal government, which estimates each day losses at about 300 billion received ($224m) as provides of cement and gas for filling stations run quick, raised its warning of cargo transport disruption to the very best stage.

However the union held out little prospect of a breakthrough within the second main strike inside lower than six months, as 1000’s of truckers demand higher pay and dealing situations.

“The transport ministry’s place is already set, and there’s no room for negotiations, so this assembly just isn’t a negotiation … the content material is a requirement for an unconditional return to work,” the union mentioned in an announcement on Sunday.

The strike is disrupting industrial exercise at a time when Asia’s fourth-largest financial system, which depends on exports, faces lower-than-expected progress subsequent yr, with the central financial institution having downgraded its 2023 forecast to 1.7 p.c from 2.1 p.c.

“We have to set up a rule of legislation between labour and administration,” President Yoon Suk-yeol Yoon mentioned on Monday, in line with 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 situation such an order throughout a critical transport disruption, and failure to conform may 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 increase a minimum-pay system past an additional three years, as a substitute of assembly union calls for to make it everlasting and widen its scope.

Container 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 Metal, 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 might run out of petrol and kerosene as early as this week, particularly in massive cities, regardless of provides secured earlier than the strike.

That’s as a result of 70-80 p.c of truckers for main refiners, equivalent to SK Innovation’s SK Vitality 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 collected output lack of about 46.4 billion received ($35m) by Saturday, with shipments all the way down to 9 p.c of regular ranges, the Korea Cement Affiliation mentioned.

“Non-union bulk cement truck house owners, who’re implicitly sympathetic to, or in worry of, the cargo union’s unlawful actions, are giving up cement transport,” the foyer group mentioned in an announcement.