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South Korea: Protecting safe rates for truck drivers

In partnership with the International Transport Workers Federation and the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union (KPTU).

In South Korea, 1,000 people die annually due to truck crashes because big corporations like Samsung and Hyundai force low rates onto truck drivers forcing them to work long hours, overload their vehicles and speed, putting all road users at risk. Korean truck drivers work over twice the annual average for OECD countries, but as 'owner drivers' they are entirely unprotected by labour law.

After years of struggle, the KPTU Cargo Truckers Solidarity Division (KPTU-TruckSol) won historic Safe Rates legislation last year. Accordingly, a 'Road Freight Rates Safety Committee' was established to set fair safe rates and hold clients accountable. Recently an ILO Committee of Experts recognised the principles underpinning the Korean Safe Rates systems and others like it by adopting guidelines that outline the responsibilities of governments and transport chain parties and a sustainable payments model for owner drivers.

Now, however, Korean truck drivers are engaged in a life-or-death struggle to defend the Safe Rates system in the face of clients who want to derail negotiations, and the Korean government's lack of will. If the Committee does not agree to rates soon, the whole system will be jeopardised and more lives will be lost.

Please support the fight for Safe Rates in South Korea and globally.

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