Unionist truck drivers in South Korea have gone on a national strike over the government’s failure to improve their working conditions, Press TV reports.
The strike is supported by about 80 percent of the Korean Cargo Transport Workers Union’s 380,000 truck drivers.
“I believe there is a difference between promises made by normal citizens and the government. The government represents a country and the essence of trust. Since the administration did not keep their word, the laborers could not help but begin the strike,” the union’s Yoon Chang-ho said.
The union is demanding a fuel tax exemption, 30 percent increase in transportation fees, and accident insurance.
However, the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs says the strike is illegal.
“The government is suppressing truck driver… Gas prices are rising and wages are going down, while the merchants are cutting our share of the profit. We’re about to starve to death,” a truck driver said.
Truck drivers complain that since South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office in 2008, fuel prices have gone up by 24 percent.
Analysts say the country’s economy and society will suffer if the strikes continue.