Education International
Education International

Ethiopia: EI condemns government interference in the union elections

published 13 December 2007 updated 13 December 2007

Teachers throughout Ethiopia have been summoned to meetings with school principals, where teachers are informed they shall elect school representatives for the "Ethiopia Teachers' Association".

A fundamental principle of any independent trade union is that it holds democratic elections; elections have to be called and conducted by the union, not the government or school principals.

EI calls this action by the Ethiopian government blatant interference and yet another attempt to destroy the EI affiliate and authentic ETA, founded in 1949.

In June 2007, the High Court ruled that the authentic ETA should hand over its assets to the government sponsored union. The legitimate ETA appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which is to make a decision as to uphold or reject the previous ruling tomorrow, 14 December 2007.

EI has learned that the ETA General Secretary, Gemoraw Kassa, received a letter instructing him to hand over the assets of legitimate representatives of Ethiopian teachers. Failing his acquiescence to do so, he is to appear in Court on 17 December 2007 to explain the reasons why this decision was made.

Gemoraw Kassa is receiving and acting upon legal advice.

EI views with great concern the order and timing of these events and is monitoring them closely.