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Tower crane workers end nationwide strike

Korea’s two main tower crane workers’ unions ended their all-out strike at 5 p.m. after two days of collective action halted operations at construction sites nationwide, the Transport Ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry said a committee of concerned parties -- the unions, companies, government and civic groups -- will be formed to improve the safety of small tower cranes.


“The two unions have agreed to end the strike as of 5 p.m. after a discussion with rental businesses and civic groups. The joint committee will be formed promptly,” the ministry said.

The committee will craft enhanced safety measures, including a clear standard for small tower cranes. Tower cranes that weigh less than 3 metric tons are currently considered small tower cranes.

The unions staged a strike Tuesday and took over some 2,500 tower cranes, saying that increased use of small tower cranes poses a greater safety risk. Their argument was based on easier license issuance for smaller tower cranes, which are remote-controlled.

They have also argued that a significant number of small tower cranes in use have been altered illegally and falsely registered.

By Kim Bo-gyung (