Bell Tower Struggle of JEI workers
In korea, home visiting tutors, and other workers in disguised employment relations (specially employed workers) are excluded fundamental labour rights
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2 home visiting tutors, Yeo Min-hui and Oh Su-yeong, members of the Jaeneung Educational Institute (JEI) chapter of the Korean Educational Materials Industry Union, affiliated to the Korean Federation of Private Service Workers Union (KFSU) launched a sit-in on top of the 20-meter high bell tower of Hwehwa-dong catholic church. JEI, whose headquarter is located in the opposite side of the church, has deterred its workers from joining union through every means, from dismissal to cancelation of CBAs, for years. No legal protection has been provided to the workers because they are not recognized as “worker” but “the self-employed”.
The union has been fighting for restoration of the CBA and reinstatement of all dismissed workers for 1875 days, as of Feb 6. As the struggle of those workers extend over a long period, on November 1, 2012, the Seoul Regional Administrative Court decided that the home visiting tutors in JEI fall under “workers” defined in the TULRAA and the union fall under “trade union” in the law. Dismissal against the workers by the company is unjust labour practice and invalid, according to the court rulling.
KCTU has been asking for legislation to protect those workers and their trade union rights.