Government calls on railway union members to get back to workUpdated: 2013-12-19 (KST)
We now turn to the ongoing nationwide rail strike which the government calls illegal and wants brought to an immediate end.
Shin Se-min has the details. The government is taking a hard line stance on the nationwide railway strike that has now gone on for 10 full days.
Prime Minister Chung Hong-won called out striking railway union members on Wednesday, demanding they return to work as their strike is inconveniencing the public.
"The strike is disturbing commuters, and the labor union's practice is leaving the government no choice but to enforce the laws the union is breaking."
Union members continue to demand that the government scrap a plan to establish a new rail operator, something they claim is a first step toward privatization.
The strike has crippled railway services nationwide, and cargo trains continue to be hit the hardest.
Their operations have been cut virtually in half.
"A union of cargo truck drivers 12-thousand strong said Wednesday it won't pick up the freight that's not being delivered because of the railway strike. Experts say if the strike continues, it won't be long before small and medium-sized businesses face supply shortages."
Commuters are already starting to feel the pinch.
KORAIL reduced its number KTX express trains by 12 percent Tuesday… and regular passenger trains are running on restricted schedules… at 60 percent their normal levels.
"Usually there would be trains every hour… but because of the strike, I now have to wait for more than two hours."
Since the strike began last Monday, some 8-thousand union workers have walked off the job.
In that time, about 9-hundred have crossed back across the picket line.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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