Fuel and Food Strikes Spreads to South Korea
About 18,000 operators of construction machinery went on strike in South Korea on Monday demanding cheaper fuel and higher pay, joining thousands of truckers who began their strike last week.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Lee may be forced to resign in the coming weeks.
The strikers are also angry over the policies of the new President Lee Myung-bak, who came to office amid a landslide victory in December, but has since become increasingly unpopular because of a decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.
Protesters chant slogans at a candlelight vigil on a street leading to the U.S. embassy and the presidential Blue House in central Seoul June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won. Image may be subject to copyright. See PRO Fair Use Notice!
There have been waves of street protest in the recent weeks demanding the government to repeal of the U.S. beef deal. The South Koreans are concerned about the threats of mad cow disease associated with the US beef.
Adding to the pressure, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions is expected to call on its 600,000 members to stage a walkout against Lee’s privatization and pension reform plans, Reuters reported.
The strikes have so far cost Korea $3.5 billion, the commerce ministry said.
Related News Links:
- South Korea warns of crisis as truckers strike – 16 June 2008
- U.S. meets South Korean minister on beef dispute – 13 Jun 2008
- South Korea truckers’ strike adds to Lee’s woes – 13 Jun 2008
- Mass protests in South Korea, cabinet offers to quit – 10 Jun 2008
- Bush, S.Korea’s Lee talk about beef deal – 07 Jun 2008