Bus drivers in Seoul have concluded their strike following the city’s agreement to a wage hike.

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In Seoul, South Korea, bus drivers concluded their hours-long strike on Thursday after reaching a wage hike agreement with the city’s bus union and employers. The resolution comes as a relief for the city’s more than 9 million residents, easing the commute for many.

Following negotiations, the Seoul Bus Labor Union and employers settled on a 4.48% wage increase, announced by Seoul’s city government. Public transport operations promptly returned to normal once the agreement was reached, marking an end to the strike. Initially, the unions had demanded nearly a 13% wage raise.

This strike, the first of its scale in 12 years, disrupted the city’s bus services temporarily. In the past, such strikes lasted only around 20 minutes.

Seoul’s bus system operates under a quasi-public model, with private companies managing the buses while being heavily subsidized and regulated by the city government to ensure service accessibility.

Before the resolution, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon urged for a swift compromise, emphasizing the importance of city buses in citizens’ daily lives. Many commuters, like 25-year-old Oh Jeong-hui, faced challenges due to the strike, opting for alternative transportation methods.

Meanwhile, South Korea is also grappling with an ongoing doctors’ strike, as thousands of trainee doctors have walked off their jobs to protest the government’s plan to increase medical school admissions. Critics argue for prioritizing improvements in trainee doctors’ working conditions, while the government defends the plan as necessary to address the country’s shortage of medical professionals in the context of rapid aging.

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