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Rail workers threaten massive protest rally

Updated: 2013-12-16 (KST)
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Growing increasingly impatient with the rail strike, police plan to issue an arrest warrant for 10 union leaders on Monday after they failed to appear for questioning by officers.
Once the warrants are issued, the 10 leaders will be taken into custody.
In a separate incident, an 84-year-old woman was killed in southern Seoul on Sunday evening after her leg got stuck between the train doors, while the subway was in operation.
The person in charge of the subway doors at the time was a college student, just one of hundreds of substitutes that are filling in for well-trained, regular workers as the railway union strike extends into its eighth day.
The incident is bound to stir up the already heated public reaction to the strike.
The labor union of the railway operator says that, unless the government responds to its demands by Tuesday, thousands of people will hold a mass nationwide protest rally on Thursday.

"If there is no response to our request by the 17th, we will conduct a legitimate nationwide protest starting on the 19th."

The strike is starting to impact other parts of the nation's rail system.
Subway operations in Seoul will be cut by roughly eight percent from Monday.
Daily KTX services, which had been running normally last week, will be reduced by 12 percent starting from Tuesday.
Freight trains are operating at just 30 percent of normal levels, and concerns are growing that supply shortages could become a reality for small and mid-size companies in the near future.
Nearly 8-thousand workers are currently on strike, and despite KORAIL's threats to remove them from their positions, only 6-hundred previously striking workers have returned to work.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.

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