Read 2773 times

There's a method and a style to their disruptions and certain boundaries that I'm not sure 1st year NETs will be aware of.

Given that, it's probably best to adopt different tactics early on at least.

  • gogators!
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6723

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
The reason you do this is because you have to entice as many people as possible to join and to sustain their membership. This organization cannot grow overnight and it will not develop its infrastructure instantly. It would likely need at least 2 and probably 5 years to become operationally capable of doing anything significant (assuming +90% membership of non-public school teachers in Korea, definitely longer if just NETs). It would need time to cultivate links with other labor groups, lawyers, legislators, media, etc.

You need to get people to buy-in and they're going to be pretty selfish about things early-on. That means you have to provide incentive for them to join that is probably more superficial and immediate. It also has to be seen as reliable and providing services so people can trust it. You aren't going to strike if you don't think your union is strong and it hasn't done anything for you and its leadership hasn't demonstrated any capacity for being actual leaders and getting things done.
There's a reason supplementary health insurance in Korea is a thing. NHS only goes so far. You know that, right?
Yes. And in order to go on strike you need a support structure that has been established and tested over the years. Going on strike without any of that established and having been tested in earlier times means your strike is quite likely to fail spectacularly.

That "boring" stuff of building relationships, providing services, earning trust, saving money, establishing infrastructure, etc. That is what enables your union to be successful. gogators!, you're basically sounding like a general who wants to send his troops to war, without training and without any logistics. That's a bad way to fight, whether it is on the battleground of war or the battleground of collective bargaining. really deep down are all feels and no brains, aren't you?
As opposed to what? A handful of disorganized NETs that are more of a disorganized rabble with red headbands snarling traffic? That will go over like a lead balloon.
Yes, because the teachers union my mother was in offered school supply discounts, that's what the signs said when her union went on strike in the 90s..... :rolleyes:
Bargaining for things such as supplementary insurance that Korean public school teachers don't get makes no sense. Do they get money for school supplies and the like?

Personally, someone asking me to join a buyer's club that was masquerading as a union would receive a firm no. It's no different than someone selling whatever product door-to-door.

Infrastructure? High-speed internet. Build a union website. Two to five years to get off the ground? I'll have paid off my student loans and be back in the US, UK, Canada, Australia getting on with my life. Thanks, but no thanks.

Show me the money. You can't do that, can you?

But, feelings aside, foreign teachers have two chances of negotiating higher pay--slim and none. I'd bet on none. What leverage do you have?

True story. A SKY university froze professor salaries for several years. At a faculty retreat, professors were told to be careful what they wished for, i.e., that raises could mean having to reduce the number of faculty.

As for striking, no they probably wouldn't immediately fire you. They might treat you like a pariah, however, and make your life more difficult. And then they wouldn't renew your contract.

  • gogators!
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6723

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Here's another idea: job training. You could get bulk discounts on PGCE/iPGCE/QTS/CELTA/DELTA/licensure programs. Some universities will negotiate these, and you wouldn't even need a big number.
That's interesting, but since you don't need a big number, it seems like you could do this on your own just by posting about it and getting those interested to join in. Thus no need to join a union.

  • yfb
  • Expert Waygook

    • 868

    • July 05, 2010, 11:50:12 am
Political activism isn't illegal per se, it's just against the terms of our visas (and as Jon mentioned, the act of forming a union probably wouldn't qualify as activism, although a union of foreigners striking probably would be). Technically, a foreigner engaged in political activity in Korea can be deported. It's pretty selectively applied, though.

This would be a case of a law (Article 17 of the Immigration Control act) being misinterpreted to the point where nobody knows what jurisprudence actually applies in the case of foreigners striking for better working conditions.

Case in point: this lawyer's editorial for the Korea Times back in 2017 stated that the Immigration Service had no records of a foreigner being deported or even arrested under this act. There was also this interesting tidbit:

Furthermore, the Supreme Court of Korea has found that foreign workers can form their own labor union to further the improvement of working conditions, regardless of whether workers have valid visas or not. As long as the labor union doesn't engage in activities that are regarded as mainly political, it should have no problems. Therefore, collective bargaining or even industrial action (provided the proper procedures are followed) by a foreign workers' trade union would be legally permissible, according to this ruling.

In summary: according to this lawyer's editorial yes it's legal.

However, waygooks effecting any real change is extremely remote. The only thing that will improve working conditions would be market forces - if the economy tanked to 90s IMF levels and a mass waygook exodus happened.