ESL Teachers United was established and launched in 2011 as an international ESL watchdog organization. The goal of ESL Teachers United is to establish an International ESL Teachers Union protecting the labor rights of employees whom provide English services in the ESL industry. ESL Teachers United was founded by experienced ESL teachers who have seen enough of the ESL industry to know that there is a complete lack of oversight and regulation opening the door to numerous unresolved labor issues. As more and more ESL entities open their doors the number of international labor abuses will only continue to rise.
Due to political agreements between countries, the ESL industry has been allowed to grow, on a colossal scale, under the radar of governing bodies and has done so with little oversight and regulation. Numerous accounts of teachers being caught up in labor disputes can be found throughout the internet yet these same ESL teachers are afforded zero mediation to resolve their disputes. Embassies and consulants will not get involved yet continue to receive complaints from ESL employees and in some cases even have warnings posted specifically for ESL employees. What is the point of filing a complaint if noone is going to help you?
The governments of host ESL countries too often turn a blind eye to the ESL issues preferring to count ESL teachers in their tourism stats while ignoring employer violations of their own local and national labor laws. Even if an ESL teacher hires a lawyer and pursues court action the costs involved and time frame needed to reach a court conclusion almost always force ESL labor complaints to ESL website forums & blogs where they are quickly buried and lost and the ESL employee is left holding the bag. Work permits processess are mired down in massive paperwork requirements and are, way too often, a feeding ground for dishonesty, bribes and embezzelment.
As a result, ESL employers can be seen fragrantly flaunting their local labors laws by paying off police officers and other government employees to acquire the necessary paperwork to hire a foreign national. Furthermore, they become empowered to mislead foreign nationals, abuse signed contracts, withhold salary as a scare tactic to maintain an employee, refuse to pay salary, exploit the contractual work agreements and responsibilities & duties, illegally hold a foreign nationals passport, falsley release employees to avoid paying out contract benefits and more with little expectation of legal recourse being filed against them. In some cases, employers have gone so far as hire local thugs to physically harm foreign nationals.
Seeing that government hands are tied in helping ESL employees in employment disputes, the only alternative choice to insure our protection is to unionize on an international scale and help ourselves. Teachers taking care of teachers. Most assuredly, 75,000 ESL teachers united and coordinated is an extremly powerful statement to the ESL industry that we will not tolerate anymore. As the ESL experience can easily be a wonderful experience for all parties concerned, there is no need for the employment issues that affect every ESL employee and infect every country hosting ESL employees.