Bus driver unions are scheduled to begin a nationwide strike beginning Wednesday, May 15, to protest changes in employment laws. Approximately 32,000 bus drivers may participate in the strike, which is in response to the scheduled July implementation of the 52-hour workweek and reduction of overall wages. Significant public transportation disruptions are expected, along with increased traffic congestion and demand for taxis, should ongoing negotiations fail.
The South Korean government enacted a mandatory 52-hour workweek limit, down from the previous limit of 68 hours, in 2018 and gave the bus industry until July 2019 to implement the changes. Bus drivers are protesting a loss in wages due to decreased hours and bus companies are calling for local and central governments to compensate for the wage differences.
Individuals in South Korea are advised to monitor the situation, allow additional time to reach their destinations, and anticipate significant disruptions to public transportation, crowded conditions on alternate forms of transportation, and increased traffic congestion and demand for taxis and other modes of transport.
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