The Education Ministry said Thursday it had filed charges against members of a teachers' union who were in charge of a rally and issued a joint-statement denouncing President Park Geun-hye.
The Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union held a rally Friday to protest the recent renouncement of its legal status. The government stripped the union of its legal status, citing a violation of labor law that prohibits dismissed education workers from joining a trade union.
The KTU also said in a joint statement Wednesday that Park should step down. It was signed by 12,000 teachers across the country.
“By urging 600 union members to participate in an illegal rally during work hours, the KTU hindered the teachers from carrying out various educational activities and infringed upon the students right to learn. It also took part in a collective action that is politically biased,” the ministry said.
Participants of the rally will be subject to disciplinary action from local education offices, it said.
Total of 71 full-time members of the KTU also faced charges for arranging Wednesday’s statement, saying it violated a clause demanding all education workers remain politically neutral.
Last month, the government filed charges against 200 teachers demanding Park Geun-hye take responsibility for the Sewol disaster and step down.
While the government’s move was widely expected, it will further corrode the strained relationship between the authorities and the embattled group.
The KTU has already made it clear that it will snub the government order saying all full-time members should return to their teaching posts by Thursday. It said the members will return on July 19, to which the ministry did not officially respond.
By Yoon Min-sik