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Korea: teacher unionists stand in solidarity with striking education support workers

On 3 July, over 60,000 education support workers went on a 3-day strike in South Korea to request improved working conditions and job security.

Although the newly-established government in 2017 made a promise to improve precarious working conditions and to provide job security, there has not been progress so far.

Among those striking education support personnel are school cafeteria workers, caregiving workers, administrative staffs, school guards, janitors, school aid staffs who mobilised for the elimination of wage discrimination.

The Korea Teachers’ Union (KTU) is supportive of the strike. “They want a fair pay system which would bring their salaries up to 80% of those of permanently employed civil servants doing the same types of jobs,” KTU International Secretary Hyunsu Hwang stressed. “Those workers call for dignity and equality at work. They are facing discrimination such as low wages, dangerous working environment, and precarious status.”

Hwang went on noting that “school is a community of learning and those workers should be more visible.”