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PM urges labor union to cancel nationwide strike amid rising virus concerns

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun presides over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters at the government complex in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun presides over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters at the government complex in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
The prime minister on Wednesday urged a major labor union to immediately cancel its plan to stage a large-scale strike, amid fears that walkouts could potentially exacerbate the COVID-19 situation ahead of next month's nationwide college entrance exam.

The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the country's largest umbrella trade union, will hold a nationwide one-day walkout later in the day to oppose the government's plan to revise the law to ratify key International Labor Organization conventions.

"While KCTU has said it will follow disease control guidelines, it is very concerning given the developments of the COVID-19 situation as of late," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters at the government complex in Seoul.

Chung urged KCTU to "immediately cancel" its strike plan in consideration of the students who are planning to take the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) next month and their parents.

More than 490,000 high school students and others plan to take the exam simultaneously at designated places across the country on Dec. 3.

The prime minister also asked the police and local governments to prevent any breaches of distancing rules and virus-control guidelines and strictly handle violators based on the rule of law.

He also commended the Seoul's city government's introduction of a year-end disease-control campaign named "Emergency pause period for 10 million citizens" and asked other regional governments to also proactively carry out locally tailored measures. (Yonhap)
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