- Fighting for 1,875 Days: Laid-off Workers of JEI Demonstrate High in the Sky
- By Lee Yeong-gyeong, Park Sun-bong
Yeo Min-hui (left) and Oh Su-yeong, laid-off workers from Jaeneung Educational Institute (JEI), answer questions during an interview atop the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church in Jongno, Seoul on February 6. Hong Do-eun
Yeo Min-hui (41) and Oh Su-yeong (40) union members of the Jaeneung Educational Institute (JEI) chapter of the Korean Educational Materials Industry Union, launched a demonstration atop a 20-meter bell tower at the Hyehwa-dong Catholic Church in Seoul on February 6.
The bell tower stands across from the headquarters of JEI in Hyehwa-dong. Yeo and her colleagues have been protesting for 1,875 days including the day she made her climb. The workers began a sit-in in a tent after JEI breached a collective agreement with the union in 2008 and laid off Yeo and other union leaders.
Instructors working for educational material publishers such as JEI belong to a special type of employee which is not legally recognized as workers. The company with which the instructors sign a contract determines their wages and working conditions, but they remain in the blind spot from labor's three primary rights because they are not recognized as workers.