Friday, November 30, 2012

The kind-of, sort of, almost, maybe bus strike last week

*I meant to write about this and it slipped my mind.

A bunch of news reports came out last week about a possible nationwide bus strike because many of the bus companies wanted to protest pending legislation that would classify taxi cabs as public transportation. The strike affected all the buses except the express (고속) ones. Apparently the express buses (ie, the ones that go from here to Seoul or Seoul-Daejeon) weren't involved.

As the strike almost happened on Thanksgiving day and weekend, it would've greatly affected our holiday plans. Not to take away from now this would have affected the country at large--such a strike would've brought the country to a standstill for a time given how many people depend on them. Alas, nothing happened here. The teachers who live outside of Gimhwa/Wasu--the majority of them here--seemed nonchalant about the matter. Their attitude told me that I shouldn't worry, and so I didn't. All the buses ran like normal here.

Did anyone see anything different? I'm curious if bus services did indeed stop in other parts of the country.

I don't normally get into politics, but I'm glad this strike didn't happen because it would've done more harm than good. According the the Korea Joongang Daily, an estimated 15 million people would've been affected by this strike, a number that constitutes a sizable chunk of the country's population. While agree that taxis shouldn't qualify as public transportation and bus companies have a right to get mad at this idea, but holding their own riders at bay is counterproductive.

See here for some more info:

http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/Article.aspx?aid=2962680

http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2962751

And a key passage from an editorial here:

http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2962754&cloc=joongangdaily%7Chome%7Conline

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