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Deaths of sleepless delivery drivers spark outcry in South Korea

Pandemic spurs massive demand in courier services, and excessive workloads

Delivery workers at Lotte Global Logistics march after holding a ceremony at a logistics center in Seoul on Tuesday to join a strike organized by the union of nationwide delivery workers.    © EPA/Yonhap/Jiji

SEOUL -- The text message, sent at 4:30 a.m., starts with an apology.

"Sorry, I know you're sleeping," a 36-year-old delivery driver for Hanjin Express surnamed Kim wrote to a colleague after a day during which he delivered 420 packages. By the time he got home, he said, he would have no time to sleep, he would eat and shower, then head back to the terminal for another long day.

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