The labor union of Seoul Transportation Corporation, which operates the Seoul subway, goes on strike from dawn today (30th).

The joint bargaining group composed of the two major unions (Seoul Transportation Corporation Union and Integrated Labor Union) and the management declared the final breakdown of negotiations at around 10:00 pm yesterday (29th).

Labor and management resumed negotiations on wages and collective agreements, which had been suspended the day before, at the headquarters in Seongdong-gu, Seoul, at 2:00 p.m. yesterday.

Afterwards, the union seemed to have narrowed the disagreement as it held a meeting over the management's proposal, but in the end, the main negotiations could not be continued and the negotiations were unanimously declared broken.

The management proposed a plan to postpone the implementation of manpower restructuring (reduction of 1,539 people by 2026), which was a key issue, this year, and to implement the existing agreements, long-term vacancy and increase of crew members, within the first half of next year.

It is said that the Seoul Transportation Corporation union, which is a member of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, and the integrated union, a member of the Korean Federation of Trade Unions, disagreed until the last minute over whether to accept the management's proposal for negotiations.

Regarding this, Kim Jung-seop, head of the Seoul Transportation Corporation union, said, "The management's announcement that it will postpone the manpower reduction plan only this year is a step backward from the content of the explicit agreement that 'no forced restructuring' was made in September last year, so the union negotiation group did not unanimously accept it. I decided not to," he said.

The Seoul Transportation Corporation union plans to hold a general strike launch ceremony with about 6,000 union members today (30th) at 10:40 am on the west side of Seoul City Hall and ask Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon to negotiate directly.

The Seoul Transportation Corporation union strike is the first in six years since September 2016 based on lines 1 to 8.

Seoul Transportation Corporation operates subway lines 1-8 and 2nd and 3rd phases of subway line 9 (Sinnonhyeon-Central Veterans Hospital).

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to minimize operational disruptions, such as train delays, by introducing replacement personnel.

The goal of Seoul City is to operate at normal levels during rush hours and to maintain 85.7% of normal levels during rush hours.

However, the daytime operation rate, when subway congestion is low, will be reduced to 72.7% of the normal level.

(Photo = Yonhap News)