News & Statements

Urban and Long-distance Rail Workers in Seoul Strike for Quality Public Transport


On October 9, KPTU Metro 9 Branch members (working on segments 2 and 3 of Line 9) researched an agreement with their employer and ended a 3-day long strike. The agreement will improve wages and working conditions and confirms Metro 9 workers' status as employees of the public Seoul Metro Corporation. Last year, these workers, succeeded in formally expelling the private subsidarity running Line 9, segments 2 and 3, but they have been employed in a company-in-company (CIC) under inferior conditions since then.
The future of Line 9 - the only main line in the Seoul metro operated with private capital - is still unclear, but the agreement today paves the way to push for full remunicipalisation (complete ownership and operation by Seoul Metro).
At the same time, however, the government continues to build and operate new lines in the metropolitan and surrounding areas through PPPs putting cost-cutting pressure on the conditions of workers in public and private line alike and risking public safety and service quality.
Over the next several weeks workers in the Korail (public), Seoul Metro (public) and West Cost Line (private) will pick up the fight against this situation with their own strike action.