Saturday, 13 February 2010
What do you expect?
We all know that trade union repression and intimidation knows no bounds, but the contradictions of state-led inteference in our legitimate role as trade unionists often throws up even greater acts of lunacy.
A colleague at the Korean Federation of Trade Unions drew my attention, via their national campaign against state hampering of union activity in the public sector, of the recent specific case of four teachers, activists with the Korean Teachers' & Education Worker's Union being fined for cooked -up charges of political interference. See the story at:
The judge obviously saw no contradiction in making the statement below and the essential role of teachers to inform pupils of social, economic and political developments in their own country:
“Teachers having political opinions as individuals should be respected, but they are in a special position in society and collectively they must remain neutral, as making political statements to influence society could damage public order and legal peace"
My immediate reaction on reading my colleague's e-mail and seeing the news article was, essentially, what do you expect of teachers, even within the Korean constitutional framework who attempt simply to follow professional guidelines in carrying out their role.
Any examples of similar bureaucratic infringements of the rights and activities of trade unionists is welcome.