Friday, October 9, 2015

Union-busting at Honda's Indonesian subsidiary: Workers call for international support and solidarity

Workers of a newly formed labor union at a Honda Motor's joint venture in Indonesia are harshly suppressed by the company and the existing union. Leaders and members of the new union are being threatened with possible lay-offs. They are requesting for support and solidarity from international networks and subsidiaries and affiliates of the Honda International Group.Workers at a factory of PT Honda Prospect Motor (PT HPM), a joint venture for production and sales of four-wheel cars, in Karawang District, Indonesia, established a new labor union, a chapter of Federation of Serikat Buruh Kerakyatan, or SERBUK, in April with 3500 members. But the management of the company prohibited the union, SERBUK HPM, from distributing the application form to the workers and threatened union leaders with possible lay-offs or reporting to the police as a criminal case. One leader nominated for an executive member was called by the HR Department, grilled and threatened. Members of the existing union, SPSI LEM PT HPM occupied a local office of the Manpower Dept. late in April to prevent SERBUK HPM from submitting forms for registration as an officially recognized labor union.
Many of the workers who organized SERBUK HPM have been working at PT HPM since 1999. Upon starting the work at PT HPM, they were obliged to join SPSI LEM PT HPM, a chapter of LEM, a federation of unions in metals, electronics and manufacturing industries, without being confirmed of their willingness. Dues were deducted from monthly salaries. After failed attempts of reforming SPSI LEM PT HPM from within, the workers formed SERBUK HPM this year. The members of SERBUK HPM are those who submitted filled application forms that also indicate their willingness to voluntarily leave SPSI LEM PT HPM.In a statement sent to the Labornet Japan, they are asking for support and solidarity in pressurizing PT HPM to respect the workers' right to freedom of association, recognize the rights of SERBUK HPM as a labor union and to revoke the suspension and reassignment orders given to union leaders.
 (Based on a document prepared by Executive Committee of Federation of Serikat Buruh Kerakyatan, received and translated into Japanese by the international department, Labornet Japan. The e-mail address of SERBUK HPM:
* Photo: Workers of PT Honda Prospect Motor who established a new labor union, SERBUK HPM


ホ ンダのインドネシアにおける四輪車生産販売合弁会社であるピー・ティ・ホンダ・プロスペクト・モーター(以下、HPM 本社:ジャカルタ 社長:内田知樹)で新しく労働組合を結成しようとしたところ、会社側と既存の御用労組により深刻な妨害を受けています。以下は、労組側から受け取った経緯 に関する文書の翻訳です。「私たちはPTホンダプロスペクトモーター・カラワン(以下PT. HPM)の工場で1999年から働いている労働者です。以前、私たちがこの会社で働き始めた時には、私たちは強制的にインドネシア金属・電子・機械労連PTホンダプロスペクトモーター支部(以下SPSI LEM PT. HPM)に加入させられていました。SPSI LEMの組合員のほとんどは加入の書類を書いたことはありませんでしたが、本人の意思確認もなく自動的にSPSI LEM PT. HPMの組合員になっていたばかりでなく、会社は組合費を毎月の給与から天引きしていました」(レイバーネット国際部) 続き *写真=新労組を結成したインドネシアのホンダ労働者

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Let’s repeal the war laws! ~Not pessimistic but angry voices shook the Diet building

The resistance by more than 40,000 protesters outside of the Diet building helped delay the resolution of the war bills in the upper house plenary session on Sep.18. Even after the last train was gone past midnight, more than 1,000 people continued protesting at the Diet building, shouting “Hang in there, opposition lawmakers!” 
At 2:18 a.m., it was reported that the upper house passed the legislation. OKUDA Aki, a leader of Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s (SEALDs) shouted “Repeal the war laws!” as soon as he saw the voting streamed on the smartphone. 
Very angry voices against the bills shook the building in the dead of night. Okuda continued to say, “We have no feelings of pessimism! There is only anger and indignation here.” The people then started to chant, “Let’s beat the lawmakers who approved the bills in the next election!” Their new struggle has already started.
Opposition lawmakers came out of the Diet to report the results one after another. YAMAMOTO Taro, a lawmaker who snail-walked by himself to delay the voting during the plenary session, called to the people, “The Japanese prime minister just gave up the most important thing in Japan to the U.S. We have no choice but to take it back because it is so important to us.  Let’s establish a new government that can do that. Our struggle has yet to finish.”
Until the end of the deliberations and the voting under the runaway Abe government, there were conspicuous irregularities in the steering of the Diet, including the forcible resolution of the unconstitutional bills, the restriction on time to speak and so on. (By M)
 Photo: People protest in front of the Diet building on Sept. 18.
video by YUMOTO Masanori 3min.


 「戦 争法案」の参院本会議採決は野党の抵抗と4万人をこえる国会包囲の力で、9月18日中の採決を許さなかった。日にちをまたぎ終電がなくなっても、国会周辺 には千人を超える人々がいた。そして「野党ガンバレ」の声を上げ続けた。午前2時18分、本会議可決をスマホの中継画面で確認したシールズの奥田愛基さん は、間髪入れずに「採決撤回!」と叫んだ。怒りの大コールが深夜の議事堂を揺るがした。「ここには悲壮感はない。怒りと憤りだ」と語る奥田さん。続けて 「賛成議員を落選させよう」のコールが上がった。もう次の運動が始まっているのだ。野党議員も議場から次々に報告に来た。「一人牛歩」をやった山本太郎さ んは「首相はわが国の一番大切なものをアメリカに差し上げてしまった。大切なものなので返してもらうしかない。それができる政権をつくっていこう。いまか らですよ」と呼びかけた。違憲立法のごり押し、そして本会議でも発言時間を制限するなど、最後まで安倍暴走は際立っていた。(M)  
動画(湯本雅典 3分) *写真=国会正門前(9/18午後9時)

War Bills Bulldozed through the Special Committee by Foul Play

On Sept. 17, in spite of the rain, people were raising voices in front of the Diet building from 9 a.m. against the forcible voting of the war bills. In the Diet the no-confidence motion against Chairperson KONOIKE Yoshitada was supposed to be discussed in the afternoon. After the motion was rejected, there should have been “concluding question and answer session” on the bills. Suddenly at about 4:30 p.m., however, the news on “the voting in the special committee” reached the protesters. It had been done by a foul play.  Shortly afterward, opposing legislators appeared in front of the protesters and talked in one voice about the terrible way of the voting. “I didn’t know what had happened.” “It was a pseudo voting.” “It was something like voting.” “It is not even recorded in the minutes.” The news deeply frustrated the protesters. NAGAO Yuri, one of the organizers, gripped the microphone. “Such a voting is invalid,” she said. “ABE is bulldozing his way while ignoring people’s voices. This is sheer disrespect for the sovereignty of the people. Young people’s chants echo in my mind, ‘What does democracy look like?’ ‘We’ll never give up democracy.’ We just have to drive Abe out of the Diet.” The struggle goes on to block the voting at the Upper House plenary session on the 18th.  (By M)


 9 月17日、雨にもかかわらず午前9時から「総がかり行動」は国会正門前で「強行採決」反対の声を断続的にあげていた。午後は鴻池委員長の不信任動議の審議 があり、それが否決されたあとは、「締めくくり質疑」があるはずだった。ところが午後4時半すぎ、突然「委員会採決」の報が流れてきた。不意打ちでだまし 打ちだった。まもなく野党議員が国会前集会にきて報告した。「何がなんだかわからない」「採決もどき」「採決らしきもの」「議事録もない」と異口同音にそ のひどさを語った。それを聞く市民の表情は悔しさを滲ませていた。主催者の長尾ゆりさんがマイクを握った。「こんな採決は無効です。国民の声を封殺してご り押しする安倍政権。これほど国民主権を冒涜する行為はない。“民主主義って何だ、民主主義をあきらめない”の若者のコールが胸に響きます。安倍をいます ぐ退陣させるしかない」と呼びかけた。18日は本会議採決阻止のたたかいが続く。(M)  

No pasaran! (They shall not pass!) ~ congressmen’s cars blocked by die-in

A local public hearing on the war bills was held in the morning of Sept. 16 at the Prince Hotel in front of Shin-Yokohama Station, the citizens continued to protest against forcible passage of the war bills. There were more than 500 protesters, including the citizens from nearby Yokohama City, union members of Kanagawa Prefecture and also members of the “National University to protect Article 9” and “Mothers No War.” As the hearing went on, the crowd grew. Many protesters proceeded to the hearing place, raising hand-made signs and chanting, “Japan renounced war 70 years ago,” “Stop creating reasons for war,” and so on. After the hearing, people’s outcry not to pass the war bills started in front of the hotel. One after another--they lied down on the road to block the black cars that were driving lawmakers to the parliament. The police pulled out the demonstrators one by one. In the confused situation, the crowd continued to chant, “No pasaran! They shall not pass!”  (MATSUMOTO Chie)


 戦 争法案の地方公聴会が開かれている新横浜駅前のプリンスホテル周辺では、9月16日朝から市民が戦争法案・強行採決に抗議の声をあげつづけた。近隣の横浜 市民や神奈川県内の労働組合、国立大9条の会、戦争させないママの会などから500人以上の抗議者が集まった。公聴会が進むにつれ参加者がふくれあがっ た。みな手作りのプラカードを掲げて公聴会場に向かい、「戦争しないと70年間決めてきた」「戦争の理由つくるのやめよう」などと声をあげた。公聴会が終 わったあとプリンスホテル前では、「採決やめろ」の市民の猛抗議が始まった。次々と道路に寝転んで、議員の黒塗りの車を阻止しようとした。警察隊はごぼう 抜きで弾圧した。騒然としたなか「ノーパサラン!奴らを通すな!」のコールが続いた。(松元ちえ) 

Monday, September 21, 2015

“Think and act as individuals” – Student activist demands Japan’s Diet members

I was encouraged by the refreshing speech by OKUDA Aki (photo), a member of SEALDs (Students’ Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy), at a public hearing on the Security Bill (actually the “War Bill”) at a Diet session in Japan on September 15, 2015. Before starting his speech, he sharpened up many sleeping Diet members who are supposed to represent the Japanese people. I was very happy with his action as I was frustrated whenever I saw the lawmakers sleep during the session. Many others who were watching the hearing were tweeting the same feelings. There, Okuda thoroughly explained why the younger generation had been criticized as being apathetic about politics and who was responsible for the political apathy. (MATSUMOTO Chie)