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Talks on resolving rail strike fail, labor and management still at odds

Updated: 2013-12-27 PM 2:29:33 (KST)
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The KORAIL chief issued an ultimatum to striking workers on Friday,
after the labor and management of the state-run rail operator failed to reach an agreement in talks that went for 10 hours on and off and ended Friday morning.
In a press briefing after the talks ended, KORAIL CEO Choi Yeon-hye asked striking workers to return to work by midnight Friday or face disciplinary action.
She added that KORAIL aims to foster internal competition by setting up a subsidiary to manage a new high-speed rail line out of Seoul, which is what sparked the strike on December 9th.

"We can give you a 100-percent guarantee the new Suseo KTX station will be an affiliate of the company. We ask all workers to come back by midnight, and for those who do not, we will consider that you are not willing to return to your posts."

In a separate press conference shortly after, railway union leader Kim Myung-hwan said the union is still open to talks and workers would end the strike if the government stops the approval of a license for the new subsidiary.

"We are willing to go back to work once the government stops proceedings with the new Suseo KTX station, and we are willing to sit down for talks on development of the railway to benefit society."

KORAIL said Thursday it would hire 6-hundred-60 new employees to mitigate the strike's impact.
Passenger train services are running at about 70 percent, while freight train services have tumbled to around 30 percent of normal levels.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.

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