South Korea’s unionized truckers returned to the road on Wednesday after a late-night deal between the union and the transport ministry ended a statewide strike that paralyzed ports and industrial centers.
The transport ministry and truckers union agreed on late Tuesday to extend the truckers’ minimum freight rates.
The eight-day strike had delayed cargo shipments from autos to cement and alcohol, costing South Korea more than $1.2 billion in lost output and unfilled deliveries.
The government will continue discussing expanding a guarantee of minimum pay for carrying cargo to cover additional products. Shares in Hyundai Motor (005380.KS),
Hanil Cement (300720.KS) and SK Plasma partially resumed on Wednesday but subcontracted truckers had still not returned to work.
An analyst estimated the strike had impacted about 5,000 vehicles each for both Hyundai and Kia but said there were opportunities to make up for lost production through overtime.
The minimum freight rate system “does not take into account market functions”, reduces production, and weakens international competitiveness, a business lobby group said.