A US teachers' union won a court victory over a private recruitment firm in Louisiana this week The union the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) took the company to court for extorting illegal fees from teachers which it had recruited in the Philippines. The firm Universal Placement International (UPI) brought 350 teachers to the US and demanded 10% of their first year's salary and 20% of their second year's pay. They held on to their US work visas if they refused to pay. A court in Louisiana ruled that UPI were acting illegally, telling them to pay back the $1.8 milliion they had taken in fees and warning them that the firm's president might be liable to ciminal charges. This case is yet another example of the global market in education which has been unleashed and has led amongst other things to the takeover of state education by private for profit firms which is taking place in many parts of the world. The outsourcing of recruitment to profit making companies is in the same category as the outsourcing of inspection and testing for example which is generating billions of dollars worth of profit for private companies. This latest example shows such profiteering in its crudest form as it seeks to exploit qualified teachers from countries in the global south where teachers' salaries and conditions of work are very poor. The AFT president called the Louisiana ruling 'a victory for teachers and for fundamental human rights.' For more details of this story go to the following web address: http://pinoyteachershub.blogspot.com/2010/04/sweet-victory.html which has been set up by migrant teachers from the Philippines in Louisiana to further their struggle. As one blog comment eloquently puts it: 'Teachers, let us be more inspired to move towards professional and personal growth. Let us value more than ever our principles as teachers and as Filipinos giving our beings a better perspective and proving to the world that we face adversities with conviction and pride and will never say no to a battle against exploitation, be it back in our country or anywhere else.'