In protest of the ever-escalating fuel costs, truck drivers in South Korea have taken their foot off the gas. Government predictions suggest that at least 35% of the Cargo Truckers’ Solidarity Union members, or 7,500 drivers, are striking. Representatives from the Union counter that the number of Union strikers exceeds 7,500 and doesn’t include a significant number of non-union drivers. According to an article in the New York Times, truckers are seeking safer working conditions and reasonable fares. When these requests were ignored, the Cargo Truckers’ Solidarity Union said it had no choice but to strike.

Now in its seventh day, the truck-driver strike has put the brakes on the production of semiconductors and petrochemical products, slowed traffic at multiple ports, and disrupted scheduled work at global steel manufacturers and automakers. During the initial six days, experts suggest the strike has cost nearly $1.25 billion.

This strike adds to the growing list of supply chain challenges facing many industries, from baby formula to electronics. South Korea is considered an essential supplier of semiconductors, smartphones, autos, batteries, and other electronics. Although negotiations continue, the Times article indicated the government is prepared to take emergency measures, including working with the military and other government agencies to transport goods to major ports.

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