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Fighting for 1,875 Days: Laid-off Workers of JEI Demonstrate High in the Sky
By Lee Yeong-gyeong, Park Sun-bong
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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.

Copyright The Kyunghyang Shinmun. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution without permission absolutely prohibited.

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