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Delivery workers on ‘refresh holiday’ for first time in 28 years

A conveyor belt is unplugged inside a logistics company on Friday. (Yonhap)
A conveyor belt is unplugged inside a logistics company on Friday. (Yonhap)

Delivery workers at major logistics firms took a day off Friday, for the first time in 28 years since the introduction of a delivery system in the country.

The companies have designated Aug. 14 as “Delivery worker’s refresh day,” amid surging workload in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

CJ Logistics, Hanjin, Lotte and Logen -- four major logistics companies here -- decided last month to give their delivery staff a day off, after they accepted the demand of two labor unions of delivery workers. The delivery services of the four companies will resume Monday.

Following drastic surges in the daily deliveries due to a rise in online purchases with the spread of the COVID-19, concerns have been raised on the increased workload of delivery staff.

After the labor unions of delivery workers demanded logistics firms to provide an official holiday for them, the Korea Integrated Logistics Association -- which includes the four companies -- accepted to designate Aug. 14 as a holiday.

Supporting the decision, the government also said it will work together with the industry to make Aug. 14 a permanent off-day for delivery persons every year.

President Moon Jae-in posted a tweet a day after their decision last month to deliver a message of support.

“Just hold off your waiting (for delivery) for one day on Aug. 14, and support delivery personnel to have time for rest and recharge,” Moon tweeted on July 18.

Some delivery services of e-commerce grocery platforms such as Coupang’s Rocket Delivery service, Ssg.com’s Ssg Delivery and Market Kurly’s Dawn delivery service, are running as normal, since they operate their own distribution systems, to guarantee employment rights such as five-day work week, the companies said.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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