Around the world, truckers are vital for access to resources that many people take for granted. Without truckers, hospitals wouldn’t be able to get critical, life-saving supplies, nor would gas stations be able to get fuel that keeps vehicles running.
The labor of truckers also allows for airlines, automakers, and other industries to run their businesses with relative ease. Already, certain trucker shortages we’ve seen thus far have caused negative impacts on the supply chain.
In South Korea, the country is getting a firsthand look at just how important truckers truly are. This has been made apparent amid South Korean truckers going on strike.
A Deep Dive Into the South Korean Trucker Strike
In South Korea, truckers have made their interest in higher wages very clear to their government. This push for higher wages is driven by rising gas costs, which are now cutting down the personal profits that truckers make.
However, because the South Korean government hasn’t been rushing to give truckers a raise, thousands of them are now on strike.
Over 7,000 South Korean truckers are on strike to demand pay raises and a guaranteed minimum wage as fuel and living costs climb.
A senior union official said that soaring fuel prices have put many truck drivers on the verge of going out of business. pic.twitter.com/2nkqc5NDQo
— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 10, 2022
The strike officially began on Tuesday; yet, the domino effect is already causing delays with vehicular companies, cement/steel production, along with petrochemical and semiconductor sectors.
Many of the South Korean truckers on strike are with unions; although, they’ve also received support from non-unionized truckers who are joining the strike themselves.
This past Friday, the Cargo Truckers Solidarity Union accused the South Korean government of actually downplaying how many truckers across the nation are going on strike to protest their wages.
Reaction From the South Korean Government
Thus far, multiple truckers on strike have found themselves being arrested. According to South Korean law enforcement, these arrests are not due to the strike, but rather the truckers blocking shipping functions.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol appears as though he’s trying to stay out of the matter together. According to him, the matter of truckers’ wages is something for them to work out with the companies employing them.
South Korean truckers on strike. https://t.co/ot0ISwgewU
— Tim Shorrock (@TimothyS) June 11, 2022
At the same time, the president did mention that law-breaking and violent behavior won’t be accepted.
All things considered, there is no sign indicating that trucker strikes in South Korea will be coming to a close anytime soon.