South Korean Delivery Workers Strike Due to Overwork Amid Pandemic

Thousands of delivery workers in South Korea went on strike in protest, demanding that employers stick to an agreement to prevent overwork, amid an online shopping boom triggered by COVID-19.

About 2,100 members of the Parcel Delivery Workers’ Solidarity Union, skipped work and attended the rally as they demand the prevention of overwork.

The union called the strike after talks with the government and logistics firms on implementing the deal that was agreed in January.

Under the deal, the companies agreed to take responsibility for the heavy workload of sorting parcels at distribution centers, which have tormented delivery workers.

“Logistics firms must take responsibility for sorting parcels, which has been free labor, and immediately implement the overwork prevention measures,” the group said.

A union official said that logistics companies and the postal service have gained “enormous benefits” for decades by forcing delivery workers to sort parcels.

“By asking to delay the implementation of the overwork prevention measures by one year, they are saying they will continue to subject workers to long work hours and the risk of death from overwork,” he added.

The agreement also calls on logistics firms to provide extra payment to workers for sorting parcels and to work to automate the job.

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