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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 08:13 GMT
Korean rail strike hits third day
Striking South Korean railway staff camped out in a Seoul depot
Protesting railway staff say their demands have gone unheard
South Korea's railways have been hit by strike action for a third day running as workers reacted angrily to the suspension of union activists.

More than 16,000 staff stopped work on Wednesday over pay and conditions and the sacking of colleagues.

Managers at Korea Railroad (Korail) have since suspended the jobs of more than 2,000 union members who were accused of obstructing business.

The number of trains in service on Friday was cut by about 60%.

Another 387 hardcore activists have also been suspended and the company said it was considering further action against them.

'Explosion of anger'

In response, union members warned that the suspensions would only aggravate the situation and prolong the strike.

Higher wages
Better working conditions
Reinstatement of workers sacked earlier

"The massive suspension of jobs has sparked an explosion of anger among railway workers," the union said in a statement.

"This measure will only make matters worse."

But the government has branded the strike illegal on the grounds, it says, that workers defied a mandatory 15-day ban on strike action to allow for arbitration when they walked-out on Wednesday.

"The government will take all necessary measures to deal with illegal strikes," said government spokesman Kim Chango-Ho.

Thousand of striking workers have been camping out in railway depot since Tuesday, but reports say many other workers are gradually returning to work.

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