Although you might have heard the news on Twitter, Seoul Metro has successfully concluded its labor negotiations, thus averting an anticipated strike. Citizens! I am happy to say that you do not have to worry about your commute any longer. All the subway lines of Seoul Metro, Lines 1 through 4, are and will be perfectly operational.
The labor union asked for the extension of the retirement age of its membership to the same level as that of the country’s public officials whereas the employer asked for the repeal of the retirement accumulation plan first. Neither party was willing to back down for some time. Fortunately, however, they finally agreed to defer the implementation of their requests to 2013 while trying to work out the details of their respective proposals at the Seoul Model (Labor-Management Culture) Council.
I personally believe that the retirement age could be extended in line with our extended life expectancy. However, I also concur with the position of Seoul Metro that it will only be able to achieve a fiscal balance once the current employees’ retirement accumulation plan has been scrapped since Seoul Metro is suffering a continuous deficit year after year, as you are all aware.
I would like to take this opportunity to plead with the Seoul Model Council to come up with a reasonable mediation proposition sooner rather than later as it is firmly committed to the public interest. It is my firm conviction that the parties in any conflict can always find a win-win position if they all make genuine efforts to do so. Anyway, it is a great relief that citizens do not have to put up with the terrible traffic situation this year. As your mayor, I will do my utmost to maintain the peace between labor and management in the city of Seoul for a long time to come.