South Korea orders more truckers back to work

STORY: South Korea ordered more striking truckers back to work on Thursday (December 8).

The decree was aimed specifically at the steel and petrochemical sectors.

That widens the government's back-to-work order beyond the cement industry.

It comes during a prolonged nationwide strike that has hit supply chains.

Tens of thousands of truckers have demanded a minimum wage programme to be permanent and broader.

The government has so far refused, but did say it can extend beyond the current three years.

A senior union official said no more negotiation sessions have been planned.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the country had to break what he called a 'vicious cycle of an unjustified organised act'.

The current strike is the second in less than six months.

It has hit the supply of goods from cars to fuel.

The government said it had cost the country $2.66 billion in its first 12 days.

Last month's "start work" order was the first time the government had forced striking workers back on the job.

Failure to comply can lead to cancellation of licences, three years in jail or a fine of over $22,000.