Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Korea: Union leader freed

Jan, 2014 --Kim Jeonghun, the president of EI affiliate Korean Teachers' Union (KTU), has been released. Having been arrested illegally on 22 December 2013, Kim received widespread international support and the warrant for his detention was overruled by a judge, leading to his release on 25 December.
Jeonghun was arrested when the police raided the head office of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). The KTU president and other KCTU members blocked the police raid on the first floor of the building, and a violent clash ensued.

The KTU believes that its president's detention raise questions. For instance, doubts exist regarding KTU's attendance at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in March 2014 in New Zealand and at the global education conference in June 2014 in Canada.
Getting together on 26 December, Taiwanese trade unionists from EI affiliate National Teachers' Association R.O.C. (NTA), the National Federation of Teachers Union and the Taiwan Railway Labour Union have shown solidarity with KTU and the Korean Railway Workers' Union (KRWU) currently fighting for their trade union rights.
The union leaders expressed their concerns about the situation faced by teachers and railway workers in South Korea, urging Korea's President Park Geun-hye to stop harassing trade unions.
They condemned the Korean Government's violations of international labour standards and called for the immediate release of KTU's president Kim Jeonghun.
EI will continue to closely monitor the position of trade unionists in Korea.

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