Education International
Education International

Global Unions give a voice to workers in the G20

published 10 November 2010 updated 10 November 2010

EI will join the Global Unions at the G20 meetings, in Seoul, South Korea, to advocate for investment in education to remain high up the G20 recovery plan. EI will also call on the Korean government to respect trade union rights.

EI President, Susan Hopgood, will be joined by the Chair of EI's Asia Pacific Committee, Nakamura Yuzuru, and EI's Chief Regional Coordinator, Aloysius Mathews, at the G20 Labour Summit and advocacy activities organised by the Global Campaign for Education.

The EI delegation will defend the Global Unions’ statement to the G20 which calls for 'Investing in people through education and training', and will request that G20 leaders “task Education Ministers to prepare proposals on teachers, with UNESCO, OECD and EI.”

EI will also continue to campaign with the alliance of trade unions and civil society organisations who are urging G20 leaders to agree the introduction of an internationally co-ordinated financial transactions' tax to generate vital revenues for health, education and development.

EI is also joining sister Global Union Federations and the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee to call on the Korean authorities to respect workers' rights and to ratify ILO core conventions on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

Earlier this year, EI launched an Urgent Action Appeal to protest against the dismissal of 138 teacher unionists for allegedly expressing political views.

During the G20 events, EI and the Global unions are calling on the Korean government to honour its international commitments and

• amend section 314 of the Penal Code to bring it into conformity with freedom of association principles;

• release all trade unionists imprisoned for trade union activities;

• remove all legislative barriers to precarious workers exercising their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining and prevent the abuse of sub-contracting as a means of depriving them of their fundamental rights;

• fully guarantee the fundamental labour rights of public sector workers, including the right to join trade unions and to bargain collectively, and the right to freedom of expression;

• recognise and register the KGEU and the KPU (Korean Professors Union);

• remove legal barriers to public sector workers exercising their fundamental rights, such as the overly broad definition of “essential services”; and

• end threats to un-certify the Korean Transport Workers' Union (KTWU) and the Korean Construction Workers' Union (KCWU) unless the unions expel members who are working in disguised employment relationships.