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Korean truckers' strike eases slightly

Korean truckers' strike eases slightly

Seoul: A crippling strike by South Korean container truck and construction drivers in protest at soaring fuel prices eased slightly Wednesday as some of them returned to work.
The stoppage by more than 13,000 truck drivers, in its sixth day, has hit major ports and inland cargo terminals where containers are stacking up.
About 23,000 construction drivers -- largely those who drive dump trucks, bulldozers and concrete mixer lorries -- have also downed tools since Monday.
Government officials were buoyed Wednesday after a few hundred truck drivers returned to work, according to AFP.
About 5,000 construction drivers also agreed to end their walkout after the government promised to press construction firms to pay for fuel and standardise contract terms.
The government has struggled to reduce disruption to cargo traffic with the help of military trucks and personnel.
As of early Wednesday, 13,133 truckers were on strike, 330 fewer than a day earlier, the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs said.
On Tuesday, the government announced a 100 billion won (97 million dollar) package to modernise the transport sector and improve truckers' welfare, urging truckers to return to work.  Reports are emerging of many ships leaving Korea, including premier port Busan (pictured) empty. [18/6/08]

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