Struggle of Ethiopian unions

19th May 2000 at 01:00
I WAS appalled at the diary (TES, April 28) piece entitled "Philibustering" which referred to delegates at the NUT conference "listening in painfully respectful silence" to the general secretary of the Ethiopian Teachers' Association, Gemoraw Kassa.

Gemoraw Kassa was invited to address conference following the union's long standing support for the Ethiopian Teachers' Association. Its president, Dr Taye Woldesmiate, has been in prison for nearly four years and has been sentenced to 15 years for undertaking normal trades union activities. Deputy general secretary, Assafa Maru, was assassinated by state securit forces in 1997.

Gemoraw Kassa was forced into exile and the union supported his application for asylum in the UK. These teachers have been targeted as a result of their disagreement with the education policies of their Government.

At the conference, Gemoraw Kassa was greeted with a long and sincere standing ovation. The suggestion he was called to speak to conference as a way of reducing debating time is grotesque and deeply insulting both to the NUT and our Ethiopian colleagues.

Steve Sinnott

Deputy general secretary

National Union of Teachers

Hamilton House, London WC1


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now