Korea: Heads Up, Foreign Teachers get the go to start a Union
Jung said five native English teachers at a private language institute in Incheon were given approval to establish the union by a ward office on Nov. 24.This is the second legally formed foreign teacher’s union permitted in Korea. The first foreign teacher’s union was permitted in Gangnam, 2005.
The union, headed by Evan Lloyd from the United States, has nine members, he said. Native English teachers belonging to the institute are eligible to join, he added. The union head was unable to be immediately reached for comment.
A pattern of "unlawful" behavior by the employer - unpaid overtime and threats of dismissal - drove them to unionize, Jung said.
The five founding members decided to set up the union after the employer forced them to work 40 hours per week rather than 30 hours stipulated in their contract. - Korea Times
Foreign teachers from around the world have come to know Korea as a place to be cautious of English institutes. Late pay, unjust layoffs, unpaid overtime and inadequate living accommodations are just some of the things that a vast number of teachers have experienced. By allowing teachers to form unions, Korean establishments might be forced into re-evaluating past action.