Seoul bus union to hold last-minute talks with management on eve of strike

Intracity buses in Seoul pass by Seoul Station, March 26. Yonhap

Intracity buses in Seoul pass by Seoul Station, March 26. Yonhap

The union of intracity bus drivers in Seoul and their employers are set to hold last-minute negotiations over wage hikes Wednesday ahead of a threatened general strike that could halt the operation of 7,210 intracity buses, or 97.6 percent of the capital’s total, if carried out the following day as announced.

The negotiations between the Seoul Bus Labor Union and representatives of their management are to take place at a regional labor relations office at 2:30 p.m.

The union has voted to launch a general strike at 4 a.m. on Thursday after failing to reach a deal on wage hikes with the management and the Seoul city government.

The union, which has about 18,000 members at 65 companies, has reportedly demanded a 12.7 percent increase in hourly wage, revision of the salary system and the abolition of wage discrimination for contract workers.

But the demand has been dismissed by the management as “excessive” particularly in consideration of the inflation rate of the past five years.

The last time the Seoul bus union went on strike was in 2012. (Yonhap)

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