South Korea govt plans first talks with striking truckers
SEOUL, Nov 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's government plans to meet the country's striking truckers' union for talks on Monday for the first time since a nationwide walkout began five days ago, as supply chain glitches worsened and construction sites faced concrete shortages.
The government has elevated its warning of cargo transport disruption due to the strike to "serious", the highest level in its disruption scale, the transport ministry said on Monday.
The second major strike in less than six months by thousands of unionised truckers for better pay and working conditions was criticised last week by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol as taking the nation's logistics "hostage" in the face of an economic crisis.
Container traffic at ports dropped to 7.6% of normal levels as of 5 p.m. local time (0800 GMT) on Sunday, the transport ministry said, down from 17% of normal levels in the morning.
The export-dependent economy, Asia's fourth-largest, is facing lower-than-expected growth next year, with the central bank downgrading South Korea's 2023 growth forecast to 1.7% from 2.1% previously.
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