Published : 2013-12-26 11:08
Updated : 2013-12-26 11:08
The state-run railway operator said on Thursday it is recruiting hundreds of substitute workers to cope with a protracted strike by its union members.
The Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL) said it has put out a public notice to hire 660 workers -- 280 train attendants and 380 drivers -- and that they will be placed to work after receiving job training.
"We plan to hire more workers if the strike is protracted further," said Jang Jin-bok, a spokesman of the rail company.
More than 8,700 KORAIL workers walked off their jobs on Dec. 9 in protest against a government plan to establish a KORAIL subsidiary to run some high-speed train services. The union suspects the move is a precursor to privatizing the rail monopoly.
The government has repeatedly assured that it has no intention of privatizing the planned subsidiary and promised to revoke the subsidiary's rail service license if its stakes are sold to private investors. But labor leaders, opposition parties and other critics say they can't buy the assurances.
KORAIL said its president Choi Yeon-hye will visit Jogye Temple, a key Buddhist temple in central Seoul where union leaders are taking shelter, on Thursday afternoon to persuade the unionists to return to work. (Yonhap News)