A weeklong strike by thousands of truckers in South Korea has triggered major disruptions in cargo transport and production that have caused 1.6 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in damages, officials said.
An extended strike may eventually worsen the global supply chains already battered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s pandemic curbs.
But the strike’s impact has so far been largely limited to South Korea’s domestic industry. The world’s 10th largest economy, the country hasn’t reported any major disruption of exports of key items like semiconductors.
The fourth round of negotiations between the striking truckers and government officials on June 12 failed to reach a deal.
Transport Ministry officials said they would seek to continue talks to end the strike, but the Cargo Truckers Solidarity said Monday it has no immediate plans to resume the negotiations.
At the center of the dispute is the truckers’ calls for a minimum wage guarantee amid surging fuel prices.
South Korea’s auto, steel, petrochemistry, cement and other sectors have been hit hard by the strike.
Factories couldn’t produce 5,400 cars as scheduled due to a delay of deliveries of components. The planned shipping or delivery of 450,000 tons of steels, 500 billion won ($390 million) worth of petrochemicals, 810,000 tons of cement and 640,000 tires have also been put off, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.
But the ministry said that South Korea’s cargo transport disruption hasn’t reached a level that threatens global supply chains. It also said it hasn’t received reports of meaningful disruptions of exports of semiconductors, automobiles and other key items.
Observers say some companies ordered supplies in advance in anticipation of the strike.
Hurriyet Daily News