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Government to deploy 10,000 couriers amid CJ strike

Amid the prolonged strike of unionized delivery workers of CJ Logistics, the logistics unit of Korea’s conglomerate CJ Group, government is planning to deploy additional workers to prepare for a delivery surge in the upcoming New Year’s holiday.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, starting Monday, it will deploy around 10,000 delivery workers to the field from Jan. 17 to Feb. 12.

Following the scheme, the ministry aims to offset the delivery shortage spiked by the union workers‘ strike of the logistics giant, which holds nearly 50 percent of market share, sources said.

The Ministry had anticipated further delivery chaos during “Seollal,” Korea’s Lunar New Year’s holiday, it added. This year, Seollal takes place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

The governmental intervention came after last year’s agreement between the government and local logistic firms that mandates them to implement various measures to prevent couriers’ overwork.

Although CJ Logistics claimed it raised delivery charges to improve couriers’ working conditions, the union said the higher fees went mostly back into the company’s pockets.

Out of 20,000 delivery workers of CJ Logistics, some 1,700 who hold the right to strike have launched an indefinite walkout since Dec. 28.

Despite the tension, the government isn’t planning any further intervention. The Ministry has maintained the current stance that it will not step in to ease the conflict between CJ Logistics and its delivery workers, sources said.

The basic principle of the Ministry is that the private entities should take matters into their own hands, as opposed to last year’s government-led social agreement where overwork in the delivery sector had become a grave social issue, it added.

Due to the strike, many e-commerce platforms have turned away from using CJ Logistics’ services, but are still experiencing some inconveniences, according to sources.

Lee Yeon-ji, who sells baby supplies online, recently changed her courier from CJ Logistics to Lotte Logistics.

“Since many companies have started to use other couriers, there has been a delivery overload in the market. Even Lotte Logistics takes an additional one or two days to deliver, and I’ve been getting a lot of complaints from my clients,” Lee said.

By Byun Hye-jin (
Korea Herald Youtube