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S Korean rail union says ends strike

Written by: Staff
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SEOUL, Mar 4 (Reuters) South Korean rail workers called off strike today after nearly four days, bringing relief for commuters and shippers.

Thousands of workers had sought better working conditions and higher pay. All would return to work on Monday, although their union and the Korea Railroad Cooperation remain deadlocked over an agreement, a union spokesman said.

''We decided to stop the strike. We do not want to cause inconvenience for citizens any more, but we will continue to talk to the railway corporation,'' the spokesman, Paek Nam-hee, said.

''Our service will be fully restored by Monday. But if we cannot produce appropriate results, we would probably have to go on a strike again,'' Paek said.

Many of the 17,000 striking railway workers and subway engineers had returned to work already, an official at the railway company said.

During the strike, passenger trains ran at about 40 percent of normal service while freight ran at 12 percent of capacity, hurting industries such as concrete and oil, the rail operator said.

REUTERS CS RN1304

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