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S. Korea activists say pizza pledges can be deadly

SEOUL, Feb 18 – Activists rallied in the South Korean capital Friday in an unusual protest against pizza chains, saying their promises of quick service endanger the lives of young motorbike delivery drivers.

The Youth Community Forum began its three-day protest Thursday in central Seoul and outside pizza chains, urging them to scrap pledges to customers of free pizza if delivery takes longer than 30 minutes.

"Stop the murderous 30-minute delivery pledge," chanted some 10 representatives from the activists\’ group as they rallied in the busy commercial district of Myeongdong, waving banners.

The cost of a late pizza is customarily deducted from a delivery man\’s wages, meaning they often drive recklessly to deliver orders on time.

The labour ministry said there were 1,395 accidents nationwide last year involving motorbikes delivering food of various types.

Figures for fatalities were unavailable but the recent death of a 19-year-old delivery youth helped spark protests.

"The speed competition often endangers the delivery boys, therefore the 30-minute policy needs to be abolished," said Lee Jong-Pil, one of the protest organisers.

The forum will seek a boycott of pizza chains who refuse by next week to change their delivery policy.

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South Korea\’s driving standards are generally lax, with motorcyclists of all kinds frequently speeding down pavements or across pedestrian crossings.


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