Skip to main content

Make Safe Rates laws permanent unions and academics tell South Korean lawmakers

ニュース 29 Sep 2022

There is overwhelming evidence for the link between road safety and driver pay, international experts and global union leaders told South Korean lawmakers this week. 

A discussion forum on the ‘Global Trends towards Safe Rates and Implications for Legislative Improvements’ was held in the South Korean National Assembly on 28 September, the day before a parliamentary committee started reviewing an extension of the Safe Rates legislation which is set to lapse at the end of the year. 

Members of the Assembly heard from a delegation from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which included unionists and academics from the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia, all of whom have expertise and experience in driver conditions and road safety. They gave full backing to the Safe Rates campaign of ITF affiliate the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union Cargo Truckers’ Solidarity Division (KPTU-TruckSol). 

“Our message is clear: legislating for minimum standards of truck driver pay and conditions saves lives,” said Stephen Cotton, the ITF’s General Secretary. “The Safe Rates law lapses at the end of this year and some businesses have been shamelessly lobbying to stop its renewal. They want to trim costs by putting Korean road-users lives on the line. But Korea’s lawmakers and transport authorities around the world must understand: Safe Rates works.” 

The South Korean Safe Rates system was introduced into law in 2018 and sets minimum safe rates of pay and conditions for some truck drivers. It holds clients of trucking firms accountable for ensuring that minimum pay levels are maintained, taking dangerous cost-cutting pressures out of the system by law. 

Research by KPTU-TruckSol and the Korean government shows that Safe Rates has dramatically improved road safety risks in South Korea. Drivers are working shorter (more reasonable) hours – fatigue is a major risk factor. Because they are guaranteed decent pay and conditions, they are under less pressure to exceed speed limits or to overload their trucks. These too are major risk factors in road accidents. 

During the Discussion Forum, David Peetz, Professor Emeritus from Griffith University in Australia, explained that the Safe Rates system in New South Wales had saved at least 205 lives between 1989 and 2021. Research by other scholars has shown comparable results, underscoring the effectiveness of this type of programme. 

The Forum also heard testimony from union leaders on the vast array of international research, and evidence from drivers, that demonstrated the strong link between road safety and driver pay. These testimonies highlighted to lawmakers the importance of the South Korean Safe Rates system as a model for other countries to follow. 

The Korean Safe Rates system was integral in the development of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Guidelines on the Promotion of Decent Work and Road Safety in the Transport Sector, which were adopted by a meeting of tripartite experts in 2019. 

“It is unthinkable that Safe Rates wouldn’t be renewed,” said Cotton. “The South Korean system has become a model for countries around the world.”  

The parliamentary committee will continue to debate the legislation through the month of October. Should the bill pass the committee it will be passed to the National Assembly plenary for a final vote.  

現場の声

ニュース 01 Jul 2024

LGBT+の労働者は組合に誇りを持っている

 「一人に対する攻撃は全員に対する攻撃だ」 この原則は交通運輸産業の労働者を含む世界中の労働者の運動を何世代にもわたって鼓舞してきた。レズビアン、ゲイ、バイセクシュアル、トランスジェンダー、その他クィアの労働者は、労働組合運動において常に重要な役割を果たしてきたが、近年になってようやく、彼らの貢献と彼らが職場で直面している問題が認識されるようになった。  ITF はまず
ニュース 28 Jun 2024

チリの労働運動に大きな打撃

 国際運輸労連 (ITF) はチリの全国鉄道旅客貨物輸送労連 (FNTF) のホセ・ ボニン委員長の死去にショックを受け、悲しみに暮れている。  ボニンは 6 月 20 日未明、列車二台の正面衝突事故の犠牲となった。銅 1,346 トンを積載した貨物列車を運転していた。  初期の報道によると、チリ国鉄 (EFE) の試運転列車と私鉄フェパサの貨物列車が衝突した。  ITF のスティーブ
ニュース 記者発表資料 10 Jun 2024

不透明な船籍ビジネスの代償を払わされる船員

紅海で発生した事件は、「便宜置籍船」の増殖を許すことの危険性を示している。 ITF マリタイム・コーディネーターの ジャクリーン・スミス – アルジャジーラ による報道。 4 月 13 日、イラン・イスラム革命防衛隊の海軍部隊が、ホルムズ海峡でポルトガル船籍のコンテナ船、 MSC アリエス号を拿捕し、乗組員を拘束した。本船はスイスに本社を置くメディタレニアン海運会社が、イスラエルの大富豪エアフ