|Delivery workers stack parcels at the entrance of a large apartment complex in Seoul's Gangdong District, Wednesday, as they decided to refuse door-to-door services in protest of the resident representatives' ban on the workers from driving on aboveground roads within the complex. Yonhap|
By Jun Ji-hye
Delivery workers have decided to discontinue door-to-door parcel services for a large apartment complex of 5,000 households located in Gangdong District in southeastern Seoul, following what they claimed was the resident representatives' unilateral decision to ban the workers from driving on aboveground roads of the complex.
The workers' action began Wednesday, following the resident representatives' decision, which took effect on April 1, calling on the workers to park their trucks at the entrance to the complex or underground parking lot and use handcarts for door-to-door delivery services.
As the two sides are still at loggerheads, their conflict is expected to continue for the time being, while the inconvenience to residents deepens.
"We decided to stop offering door-to-door services in order to guarantee delivery workers' health and safety," the union of delivery workers under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) said in a statement. "Parcels will be delivered only to the entrance of the apartment complex, and residents have to go there to collect their parcels."
The union claimed the resident representatives had never replied to its letter sent on April 8 that requested talks on the issue, noting that its decision came in response to the representatives' unilateral action.
The union also called on parcel delivery companies and the government to come up with appropriate countermeasures to settle the dispute.
The resident representatives of the apartment complex have banned delivery workers from driving on aboveground roads of the complex, which was designed to be "car-free" citing concerns over possible accidents and damage to its facilities.
Instead, the workers were asked to park their trucks at the entrance of the complex or the underground parking lot, and use handcarts for delivery. However, the workers reacted against the decision, saying the height of most of delivery trucks is higher than the parking lot entrance's 2.3-meter height limit, and that the use of handcarts is extremely physically demanding.
"There would be no safety problem if delivery workers obey all speed limits and install rear-view cameras to see approaching children," said Jin Gyeong-ho who heads the union.