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Ex-Union Leader Suspected of Covering Up Scandal

Posted February. 10, 2009 09:23,   


The former chairwoman of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers` Union, Jeong Jin-hwa, is alleged to have tried to cover up a Korean Confederation of Trade Unions official`s attempted rape of a female member of the teachers` union.

Oh Chang-ik, general director of Citizens` Solidarity for Human Rights and who is representing the victim, told The Dong-A Ilbo in a telephone interview that the victim’s “right to sexual autonomy” was stripped away by the confederation’s collective action and self-interest.

The leadership of the nation`s second-largest umbrella union attempted to conceal the shameful case of sexual harassment, he said, adding, “Former Chairwoman Jeong was involved in the cover-up.”

Oh filed a complaint yesterday against the attempted rapist with prosecutors.

In response, the teachers’ union also launched a seven-member fact-finding committee to investigate the case. It will announce the probe results at its national convention Feb. 27-28 in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.

The confederation announced after a central committee meeting yesterday that its nine leaders, including chairman Lee Seok-haeng who is now in prison, have resigned en masse to take responsibility for the case.

The labor group will be run by an emergency committee until it selects a new chairman at its ad hoc convention.

kini@donga.com sys1201@donga.com