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Presidential office vows not to compromise on illegal strikes

SEOUL– The presidential office on Wednesday reconfirmed its determination to deal sternly with strikes by unionized truckers and subway workers.

Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, said the government will try to guarantee the legitimate rights of striking workers but illegal acts are not permitted.

“We’ll sternly respond to strikes that deprive low-wage workers of their jobs,” Kim said in a media briefing.
President Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday his government will take all possible measures to deal with the prolonged strike by unionized truckers, while presiding over a weekly Cabinet meeting to approve an executive return-to-work order for striking cement-field truck drivers.

Thousands of cargo truck drivers launched their strike six days ago over minimum freight rates, while unionized workers at Seoul Metro walked out earlier in the day in protest of workforce restructuring.

Kim said written return-to-work orders are being delivered to striking truckers and the government will review various options under the instruction of President Yoon.

She also expressed deep concern about the subway workers’ strike, saying it coincides with a cold wave warning issued nationwide Wednesday and a separate strike threatened by unionized rail workers. The secretary said she fears considerable inconvenience is expected for the people who use subways and railroads.

Kim then reconfirmed the government’s determination not to seek any compromise that goes against the law and principles in the process of establishing the rule of law between labor and management.

Meanwhile, a ranking official at Yoon’s office suggested the government is considering issuing an additional return-to-work order for striking oil tanker drivers amid growing concern about a disruption in the local supply of gasoline.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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