The moves come after President Yoon Suk-yeol chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss invoking tough strike legislation.
The South Korean government has decided to take the unprecedented step of invoking a tough strike law to end the six-day layoff that is hurting the economy by truck drivers.
President Yoon Suk-yeol previously chaired a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss issuing an order to start work after the government failed to reach an agreement with unions in the country. talk on monday. The decision marks the first time a South Korean government has ordered striking transport workers to return to their jobs.
Failure to comply can result in penalties such as license cancellation and three years in prison, or a fine of up to 30 million won ($22,550).
Transport Minister Won Hee-ryong earlier said the order, if approved, would be implemented immediately.
The strike — the second strike in less than six months by truckers demanding minimum wages — is disrupting industrial activity at a time when Asia’s fourth-largest economy is predicting a rise. growth will slow to 1.7% next year.
Ahead of the government’s announcement, the Strike Truckers Solidarity Union (CTSU) called the ground breaking order “undemocratic and unconstitutional” and evidence that the government is not willing to engage in dialogue.
“CTSU will not bow to this government-wide crackdown,” the union said in a statement late Monday.
The union plans to hold 16 nationwide protests on Tuesday, it added.
The government does not want to expand the minimum wage system after three years, while unions say the system should be permanent and broader in scope.