Union of Seoul subway line No. 9 begins 3-day strike
The union of the subway operator in charge of a part of Seoul’s line No. 9 began a threeday strike, Monday, after negotiations with management fell through.
Subway line No. 9 is managed by two entities, with the western section operated by Seoul Metro Line 9 Corp., a private company, and the other by a unit of the Seoul City-run Seoul Metro. Members of the union of the latter, which operates 13 stations from Eonju to the VHS Medical Center, are on strike.
They walked out at 5:30 a.m., and are scheduled to continue the strike through Wednesday.
Since May, the union held 15 sets of talks with management to increase the number of workers, implement a step-based salary system and secure more permanent job positions, but failed to reach an agreement.
The union, affiliated with the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, said about half of its 250 members are participating in the walkout.
Even during a strike, however, the current law requires the union to operate 100 percent of the scheduled train operations during morning rush hours between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., 80 percent during evening rush hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 60 percent during the remaining hours, to prevent traffic mayhem.
There were no major delays and operations were maintained at usual levels on the first day, as the city government and Seoul Metro dispatched non-union workers to fill the positions of the striking unionists.
If there are delays in operation on the second and third days, the city government will operate more buses on the routes of the subway line.
The union denounced the dispatch of replacements, saying it denied workers’ right to strike and negated the effect of the walkout.
It plans to hold an additional strike from Oct. 16 to 18 if its demands are not met.