Unionized workers of Seoul's subway system operator will go on strike for two days from Thursday after failing to reach an agreement with management.
The union of Seoul Metro, which operates subway Lines One through Eight and part of Line Nine, decided to stage the strike from 9 a.m. Thursday through 6 p.m. Friday after the eleventh round of negotiations ended in a stalemate on Wednesday.
The two sides remained at odds over management's plan to reduce its workforce by two-thousand-212 employees, or 13-point-five percent, by 2026.
Management says the measure is necessary to overcome chronic deficits, but the unionized workers argue that excessive downsizing could lead to safety and service quality issues.
As a result, the union will stage a walkout for the second consecutive year, but unlike last year when unionized workers went on a full-scale strike, this year, the collective action will last for two days to serve as a warning.
The walkout is set to cause disruptions in train operations except during morning rush hour.
The daytime operation rate of subway trains is expected to drop to 82 percent of normal levels due to the strike, with a rate of 87 percent of normal levels during the evening rush hour.
Seoul Metro and the city government secured some 13-thousand-500 replacement personnel to operate the subway at as close to normal levels as possible.
The labor union said it is open to further negotiations during the walkout.