Striking truckers charged and arrested
Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – South Korean truckers have run foul with the law. Local prosecutors have signed arrest warrants for a dozen striking truckers on charges of beating fellow drivers who refused to stay off the job during recent industrial action. Prosecutors are also investigating 60 other truck drivers on similar charges, this according to Lee Jin-han, a prosecutor at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office in Seoul, who said that truckers are suspected of assault, intimidation, damages and theft against non striking truckers.
Yesterday the South Korean government urged striking truck drivers to return to work, warning that the authorities would take legal action if they do not.
About 13,000 unionized truckers went on strike Friday over rising fuel prices, crippling operations at seaports and severely damaging the country's export-driven economy. The truckers are demanding the government increase fuel subsides, help raise transportation charges and introduce a minimum wage.
The cost of the wild strike is already being stiff. The week-long action has cost the country’s economy about .92 billion in lost trade, dealing a blow to the main growth driver.
The Economy Ministry reported that the strike has already cost about US$ 5.92 billion in lost trade, US$ 2.89 billion in exports and US$ 3.03 billion in imports, or about 1 per cent of the value of South Korea's total trade last month.