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June 30, 2005

Korea's First English Teacher's Union

English-language teachers in South Korea are to set up a national union to counter a backlash against foreign workers, according to the Guardian Weekly. The union plan, the first of its kind in the country and considered "long overdue", was agreed at a teacher's conference last month. English language teachers who work on government-sponsored programs are allowed to join a union for Korean teachers, though few do so as the process is drawn-out and complicated. The perceived need to provide union protection for teachers comes in the wake of increased animosity towards foreigners teaching in Korea and a recent crackdown on those working in the country illegally. Ironically it also comes at a time when there is growing demand for English education and the Korean government is trying to increase the number of foreign teachers. An extra 900 teachers are said to be needed in Seoul alone.
S. Korea 'more hostile' for foreign staff
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