Korean National Teachers Union Loses Legal Status

Recently, the court ruled against the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union‘s legal status as a labor union due to its membership problems. The union has received criticisms from the conservative side for their political nature and alleged ideology education. The animated movie titled “Red Classroom” below was created by the Parents’ Association for Reviving Public Education (PARPE) who oppose the KTU and shows the negative perceptions towards the KTU widely held by conservatives.

Article from news1:

KTU loses its legal status as a labor union

On 19th, the Seoul Administrative Court’s 13th division ruled against the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union, which accepted fired teachers as its members, in a lawsuit on its legal status against the Minister of Employment and Labor. Therefore, the KTU will lose its legal status as a labor union and the labor union employees should return to school. As a result, it is expected that conflicts between the progressive and conservative camps will get fierce.


Read more.

Comments from Naver:

I will just say one thing. Ya~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~feel so good, ke ke ke ke ke ke ke.


This is only natural. This is not even news-worthy. Such a natural consequence.


The law saved this nation, children and their parents!!!


Please just go to North Korea. [to KTU]


Now our kids will be able to learn proper history and ideas instead of worshipping Kim Il-sung and learning North Korea’s Juche ideology.


KTU who claim they pursue “True Education” should first reflect on why the public turned against them and see them as a political group.


School teachers should be politically neutral.


Such a cool ruling in this hot weather. ^^


They are a group that takes hostage of our kids and only cares about their interest in disguise of being teachers.


KTU-affiliated progressive superintendents of education think they represent the nation’s future. They never listen to conservatives.

Article from Yonhap News:

Progressive superintendents of education to acknowledge KTU’s status and keep working with them

On 19th, newly elected progressive superintendents of education and their education offices expressed their regret over the Seoul Administrative Court’s ruling that the KTU is not a legal labor union. They expressed their will to acknowledge the KTU as a legitimate teachers’ organization and continue to work with them.


Comments from Daum:

The Swedish Nobel Committee said there was no lobbying for former President Kim Dae-jung’s peace prize win, but there was some lobbying against him from prominent Korean figures. In most countries, when their citizen is nominated for a Nobel prize, they fully support them. But strangely in Korea, Korean lawmakers staged a protest against President Kim Dae-jung’s win.


I support you. I think any acts from the KTU are still better than the New Right and chinilpa‘s history education based on colonial historiography. Remember the idiot who said we should buy and keep a history textbook from Kyohaksa as a family treasure??


Former President Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel peace prize for his achievements in democratization of Korea for about 40 years. In his forties, he was once a rival of dictator Park Chung-hee for presidency. The figures who succeeded the authoritarian government conciliated him that they would support him for the Nobel peace prize candidacy if he gives up running for the President. He limped because of the torture he got when he was fighting the authoritarian government.


Those people who call KTU commies are all like Moon Chang-geuk.


The public fully supports you. Of course, pro-Japanese conservative idiots would oppose you.


[KTU teachers are]
1) Teachers who are popular with students.
2) Teachers who clean up their own seats.
3) Teachers who reject bribery.
4) Teachers who often consults with students’ parents.
5) Teachers who don’t act careless around students.
6) Teachers who try to teach students excessively hard.
7) Teachers who publish class books and newspapers and enthusiastically teach students how to write.
8) Teachers who try to improve students’ independence and creativity.
9) Teachers who lead clubs such as a newspaper club or a folk culture club to communicate with students.
10) Teachers who teach students mask dance, folk songs, singing and play.


There are people who still haven’t waken up. Think carefully about why progressives were elected for 14 out of 16 positions for superintendent of education.

[The comments below received much more down-votes than up-votes. Daum does not subtract down-votes from up-votes when it sorts comments by votes.]


As soon as they are elected, the superintendents are doing crazy shit from the get-go.


There is no way progressive commies would follow the authorities’ order. Even if you came to this enemy state as spies, it is right to follow the ruling in our country, you commies~


So they will try to go against the ruling. The law is too lenient. Shouldn’t the law be able to punish any offender even if it is the President?

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Minty Badger

    Seems like I’ve heard people trying to color the KTU as nork-sympathizing, foreign-hating, communist assholes. Of course, anyone who disagrees with conservatives is someone conservatives want to label as communists…is that what’s happening here? It wasn’t that long ago that the KTU was supposedly involved with the Anti-English Spectrum and a media campaign to color foreign teachers as rapists, molesters, drug-users, and degenerate slackers…was there any actual connection?

    Very curious about public school teachers here. Their day ends very early. For grades 1-3…as early as 11:30. They all seem to have nice cars and wear suits every day. They spend much less time teaching than the five hours I spend five days a week. Are they doing paperwork every day as their students spend anywhere from 4 to 6 hours roaming the school grounds unsupervised? Are most schools like this or do I just teach at one of the bad schools meant to supply society with barely-educated drones?

    • Boris

      “They all seem to have nice cars and wear suits every day.” – Really? Nice cars? I’ve seen them all drive Hyundais and Kias and not the most recent ones or if it is recent then it is the cheaper models. The suit, I get it. I was told they have to wear them. How much of that is true, I have no idea.

      • drivekorean

        koreans consider domestic car brands to be superior than foreign luxury brands and for a long time are more expensive than the likes of BMW or Mercedes due to high tarrifs.

        • Boris

          I thought it was the other way round – that foreign cars had high tariffs on them, so if you wanted to buy one had to pay more than you would say back in the UK or the US.

          • Chucky3176

            Tariffs on foreign cars have been lowered from 8% on average, to 2% or to zero, since the FTA’s with EU and US. There are no more a big spread on prices between a Korean domestic and foreign makes. As for drivekorean’s comment, it’s a troll comment.

          • Boris

            So it use to be 8%? I thought it was higher.

            Chucky, can you confirm something for me?
            I was told that people who live in Ulsan get a discount on Hyundai cars there since it is the home of their manufacturing in Korea. Is that true?

          • chucky3176

            I don’t live in Ulsan so I wouldn’t know. But I would not be surprised since Ulsan is a Hyundai city. They make ships, cars, and steels for Hyundai ships and cars. Hyundai workers there get everything subsidized by Hyundai including education for employee’s kids, housing, transportation, etc, that don’t show up in their base salary statistics. Average workers there make much more money than the unionized Detroit US auto workers, if you add up all the perks including some serious yearly bonuses that get paid out, sometimes up to 100% of their base salary. They make some serious money over there, and has a higher per capita income than Switzerland, and is statistically Korea’s richest city by far – although you may not realize this just by looking at the surface of the city, which was basically built in the 80’s to house Hyundai industries.

          • Chucky3176

            Furthermore, because of government regulations and requirements (like the gas consumption tax and engine size tax), cars, both domestic and foreign are priced higher in Korea, than in America. Also, on top of that, Korea’s distribution markups where all those middlemen take a cut when they sell imported cars, makes the prices even higher in Korea. The FTA’s hasn’t really cut the prices deeper than you would think, because the distribution companies merely passed the savings of the taxes to themselves. This is true not only for cars, but for all the other imports. The people who lose out most are the Korean consumers who are pissed off that the prices haven’t come down as much as they expected. Well that’s because the seller’s markups which they jacked up, expecting the Korean consumers to equate higher prices with higher quality, so higher sales. And they’ve been right. By the way, despite the Ford’s complains that the US-Korea FTA will be bad for the US, the US car sales in Korea have doubled since the FTA, while foreign car share of the Korean market has skyrocketed enough to endanger Hyundai’s near monopoly rule. The biggest winners are the Germans and Americans, while Japan lags behind in third position, leapfrogged by US.

          • Boris

            US cars usually have a poor rep in Europe (other than Ford Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo and anything thats supposed to be a sports/fast car and even then it is seen as poorer than Europea cars of the same type). I don’t know if Japan-Korean relation has anything to do with the poor sales, but I can understand why Germans might be top.

            I remember once I was walking home from Homeplus and I saw a classic Rolls. You don’t see that everyday in Korea.

          • Cloudfive

            I don’t think you are correct. When I wanted to bring my car to Korea from the U.S. in 2010, they said I would have to pay as much as 35% of the blue book value when I spoke with the Korean immigration office. The cost of other foreign products such as beer or wine is still twice as much as Korean products and much more expensive than prices in the U.S.

            EDIT: Nevermind, you answered below why the prices are still so high re: imported beer and wine. The public should protest and insist that the distributers pass the savings on. It’s outrageous! I demand drinkable beer, wine and cheese at a decent price. I also thought the Korean beer was so awful because the way it’s made but, I after seeing cases of beer sitting in open trucks for hours in the sun, it may also be the way beer is delivered and stored here. No refrigeration.

        • Sillian

          Did you mix up some subject and object in your sentence?

    • Chucky3176

      I don’t know about KTU supposedly involved with anti-ESL teacher activities, but their member teachers are known to use North Korean text books and teach North Korean ideologies, including the teachings that the US and South Korea started the Korean War. Also, KTU teachers were the ones behind organizing the highschool kids in Seoul, staging anti-US-Mad Cow demonstrations in Seoul in 2008. That was a big scandal at that time.


  • Science Patrol

    Major League Baseball is responsible for Mad Cow disease? I did not know that.

  • KCdude

    Don’t worry. They’ll get the legal status again. The President is doing absolutely worse than Roh Mu-hyun right now. I noticed that Korean conservatives often hate the British Commonwealth Realm and blindly supports USA. This doesn’t end well for the majority of Koreans.

    Are Koreans really that naive? I guess so. I think this is why they deserve so much criticism from foreigners.

  • Warren Lauzon

    Let’s not forget that the current president’s daddy was a brutal dictator, and she seems to lean pretty hard to the right. So hard to tell how much of this is politics and how much is real. But it is a fact that KTU has turned into much less of a union and more of a lobbying and political organization.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»