Thousands protest in South Korea in support of truckers
Thousands of demonstrators representing organized labor marched in South Korea’s capital on Saturday denouncing government attempts to force thousands of striking truckers back to work after they walked out in a dispute over the price of freight.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or major clashes from the protests near the National Assembly in Seoul. The marchers, mostly members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, accused President Yoon Suk Yeol's conservative government of labor oppression and ignoring what they described as the truckers' harsh work conditions and financial struggles, worsened further by rising fuel costs.
The government on Tuesday issued an order for some 2,500 drivers of cement trucks to return to work, saying that their walkout is rattling the national economy. It wasn't immediately clear how many truckers returned to their jobs following the order as their union vowed to continue the strike.
Thousands of members of the Cargo Truckers Solidarity union have been striking since last week, calling for the government to make permanent a minimum freight rate system that is to expire at the end of 2022.