Serikat Tenaga Kerja Indonesia PRT HK

4/F, Flat C, Jardine’s Mansion, 32 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

 Phone: (852) 2375 8337, Fax: (852)29920111

Email: imwu.hk@gmail.com, MP:www.imwuinhk.multiply.comRegister of Trade Union (RTU) No: 958

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union (HKCTU) affiliated member



































Legal status and recognition for MTU!

Stop crackdown on MTU!


Crackdown on Migrant Trade Union (MTU) in South Korea is a shame act that has been shown by South Korea governments. This brutal act is denied the contribution of working class in South Korea, including migrant workers. Indonesian Migrant Workers Union also condemn South Korea Government which committed to union busting act by arrested and deported MTU officers and members on this several years also.


MTU it’s founded in 2005. At that time the Ministry of Labor rejected MTUs official union status, claiming that undocumented migrant workers do not have the right to freedom of association and union activities. MTU carried out a legal battle against this decision and eventually won in the Seoul High Court on 1 February 2007. However this verdict was appealed to the Supreme Court, where a decision is expected to be reached by the middle to end of this year. The Ministry of Labor bases its appeal on the claims that the right of undocumented migrant workers to freedom of association is not protected in the South Korean Constitution or stated clearly in international law. However, we know that workers are workers, entitled to the same labor rights, no matter what country they reside in under what visa status. This was clearly shown in the High Court decision, which ruled that undocumented migrant workers are the subjects of equal labor rights under South Korean law and in rulings of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association (UGT [2001], AFL-CTM [2002]) and the Inter-America Court of Human Rights (17 Sept. 2003), which show that international law protects the union rights of undocumented migrant workers.


International law to which South Korea is party including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) all protect the rights of workers, regardless of social status, to freedom of association. In particular, the CERD General Recommendation No. 30(2004) states that “guarantees against racial discrimination apply to non-citizens regardless of their immigration status” and that “all individuals are entitled to the enjoyment of labor and employment rights, including the freedom of assembly and association, once an employment relationship has been initiated until it is terminated.” In addition, ILO Convention No. 87, which South Korea is bound t! o uphold as a member of the ILO, protects the right to freedom of association for all workers, “without distinction whatsoever” and has been shown to apply to undocumented migrant workers through CFA recommendations (UGT, 2001 and AFL-CIO/CTM, 2002).


We are concerned that the Ministry of Labor’s denial of MTU’s union status is in contradiction to these international conventions and to South Korean domestic law. It is our position that countries that adhere to international human and labor rights standards must protect the right of migrant workers, regardless of visa status, to freedom of association. As such, it is our position that the denial of MTU’s legal union status should be reversed and MTU should be granted recognition.


Therefore we, Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU) demand to South Korea government as follow:


  1. Legal status and recognition for MTU;
  2. Stop Crackdown on MTU;
  3. Legalize all undocumented migrant workers;


Hong Kong, 28 February 2010


IMWU Chairperson.