Members of Korea Railway's board meeting have approved the setting up a subsidiary firm to operate KTX trains connecting southern Seoul to the central and southern provinces of Chungcheong-do and Jeolla-do by 2016.
Union members of KORAIL staged protests outside the KORAIL building as the board meeting was being held.
More than 4-thousand 3-hundred railway union workers were removed from their posts on Monday for going on strike to prevent what they think is a move to privatize the nation's railway corporation, KORAIL.
In response to the strike, KORAIL has asked the police to investigate illegal labor actions and the obstruction of working environments.
Unionized workers say KORAIL's KTX plans could result in mass layoffs and fare hikes but the company denies the claim, saying the new unit will be 41 percent and 59 percent owned by KORAIL and state-run investors, respectively, and that private firms will never be allowed to buy stakes in it.
The government says the union's argument holds no ground and blamed the union workers for escalating a labor dispute that has disrupted some train services.
However, public inconvenience is expected to worsen as the labor union for Seoul's subway lines one through four has vowed to go on strike next Wednesday to join the rail workers' move and to lodge complaints over failed negotiations with the management about their treatment.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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