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Korail workers begin indefinite strike from Wednesday Updated: 2019-11-20 09:52:33 KST

Railway workers in Korea have started an indefinite strike, demanding better pay and working conditions.
Much inconvenience to commuters is expected, with many rail services being delayed or cancelled.
Our Kim Jae-hee is at Seoul station for us to bring you the latest.
So, Jae-hee, I hear the strike began this morning?

Yes, Ji-yoon. The Korean Railway Workers' Union went on an indefinite strike as of 9 AM today.
Substitute workers are in place to operate high-speed KTX and commuter trains, but disruptions are still expected.
KTX trains are expected to run at around 69 percent of usual levels, SRT trains will run at around 78 percent.
Commuter trains are expected to operate at some 60 percent and freight trains 31 percent.
During off-peak hours, subways in Seoul are expected to run at about 82 percent of usual levels.
This is the union's first indefinite strike in three years.
There was transport chaos in South Korea in late 2016 when they walked off the job for 74 days.
The union and KORAIL have held numerous talks since May, but couldn't narrow their differences.
KORAIL workers and management last held talks on Tuesday, but again failed to reach a compromise on wages and employee numbers.
The union workers are currently demanding a four percent increase in basic salary, and an additional four,six-hundred workers.

In a situation like this, the priority is to minimize passengers' inconvenience.
What are some measures that KORAIL and the government are taking?

Yes, Ji-yoon. Given that the industrial action will likely continue for some time, KORAIL says it has been operating a 24-hour emergency transportation headquarters since Monday.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport also said it will mobilize alternative means of transportation in consultation with bus operators and provincial offices.
Passengers will not be able to book tickets on trains that have been canceled as a result of the strike and messages are being sent to customers who have already made reservations on those trains.
Affected customers will get a full refund on the price of their train ticket.
That's all I have for now, but I'll be back with more information in our later newscast.
Back to you, Ji-yoon.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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