In a one-month ultimatum sent to the KTU in September, the government of South Korea threatened to deregister the KTU if it does not amend its by-laws to ban dismissed and retired teachers from its membership. In a joint letter to the Korean President, EI and TUAC have urged the authorities not to cancel the registration of the KTU and to amend its labour rights legislation in line with the ILO recommendations. EI also launched a online campaign on the LabourStart, jointly with ITUC and PSI and EI affiliates were encouraged to send official protest letters to the Korean President. EI and ITUC also requested ILO’s urgent intervention with the Korean government. EI submitted additional information to the ILO to complement the CFA complaint 1865.
EI had already provided the same support in February, when shortly after the new Korean President took office, KTU had been threatened with delegalisation. A KTU delegation attended the ILO Conference and EI made a presentation in the Korea discussion at the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards. The ILO urged the “Government to take steps to ensure effective protection against discrimination based on political opinion, in particular for pre-school, primary and secondary school teachers, and to ensure that concrete and objective criteria were used to determine the very limited cases where political opinion could be considered an inherent requirement of a particular job.”
In a nationwide poll, about 60,000 Korean teachers and education workers asked the union to resist and keep its by-laws as they were.
Despite international pressure, the Park Geun-hye administration officially deprived the KTU of its legal status on 23 October 2013.
Determined to regain its legal status, the KTU filed an injunction with a Seoul district court to appeal the decision and have it nullified.