Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aug. 15 Action against “Safety and Reliability by way of War State” ?

 On August 15, 2009, the “August 15 Action against ‘Safety and
Reliability by way of War State’” was held at the Zen-Suido Hall in
the Suidobashi district, central Tokyo. August 15 is the day when World
War II ended 64 years ago. This year is the 20th anniversary of the
accession of the current Emperor Akihito and the 50th anniversary of his
marriage to Princess Michiko. Participants in the event discussed the
meaning of honoring events to be forced on the people, discrimination
and xenophobia, and the dangerous nature of the imperial system as an
apparatus to integrate them into war. The rally started from the venue
to the Yasukuni Shrine with banners spread and puppets hoisted. Rightist
groups that gathered along the rally course repeatedly attacked the
nonviolent demonstrators who orderly chanted. (Reported by Y) Photos by Mkimpo Image


Maesawa Emiko, winning lawsuit against Skylark, awarded ? “Ryu

 The “Ryu Foundation for No More Karoshi!”, which has striven for the
eradication of karoshi, or death from overwork, held an award ceremony
of the 3rd Nakajima Tomio Prize in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo on August 9,
2009. About 170 people participated in the ceremony. Representing the
selection committee, Sataka Makoto, a critic, announced the award-winner
of this year. He explained the reason why Maesawa Emiko was selected,
“Her victory is a precious example in our usually unwinnable struggle
against karoshi”. Ms. Maesawa (in the photo), who received the
commendation, said, “I had regarded karoshi as being a thing in another
world until I became the bereaved. I really feel regrettable because
Skylark did not keep its word ‘Never again’ it had said when Mr.
Nakajima, a former Skylark employee, died from overwork. I am determined
to raise my voice and make utmost efforts for the eradication of karoshi”.
(Suda Mitsuteru) Image (UnionTube)


Echo of voices “Yasukuni No!” in Ueno district, Tokyo ? 600 gathers in

About 600 people joined the “Light of Peace Now! Candle Action to the
Darkness of Yasukuni 2009” that was held at Over-water Open-air Music
Hall located in the Ueno Park, central Tokyo from 2 PM on August 8, 2009.
The gathering, subtitled “Watching Yasukuni from East Asia ? Concerts
and Testimonies”, was made up by testimonies, songs and dances of the
war bereaved from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and the participants
started a candle demonstration from 7 PM. At the Ueno Hirokoji
Intersection crowded with weekend shoppers, various rightist groups
waved hinomaru, or Japan’s national flag and yelled at the
demonstrators for obstructing the rally. The marchers who hoisted
placards appealed to passers-by, repeating their powerful chants, “Don’
t enshrine at Yasukuni without consent!” and “Don’t glorify war!”
(Reported by Y) * Photo:Participants from East Asia

 8月8日、「平和の灯を!靖国の闇へ キャンドル行動2009」が、東京・上野公園
壱花花(噴飯もの) ・動画(UnionTube)

Stop violent crackdown! ? Angry chants in front of South Korean Embassy

 In protest against the murderous crackdown on the strike by the
Ssangyong Motor Company Trade Union, Zenrokyo, National Trade Union
Council, and volunteers carried out the “Urgent Action in front of the
South Korean Embassy” in the afternoon of August 6, 2009. Despite the
last minute preparation, about 50 demonstrators joined the rally with
placards and flags, which started from a park in the Hiroo district in
central Tokyo. There were 34 individual and group advocates, including
Kamada Satoshi, a nonfiction writer. The demonstrators headed to the
South Korean Embassy, surrounded by many policemen. Only maximum five
persons were allowed to enter the embassy premises one after another due
to a request from the guard, but this made protest chants continue in
front of the embassy for more than an hour. A participant from Australia
powerfully appealed, “Your brutalities are all known to the world on
the Internet. We never forgive the violent crackdown”. (M) Image (UnionTube),
Image (Champon) 


Foundation to support part-time and casual workers in Kanagawa Pref.

 In this recession, many workers lost their jobs, or are unfairly
dismissed or have their rights deprived. Some of them join a trade union
and succeed in solving their problems through collective bargaining, but
many others are still alone and exposed to unfair attack by their
employers. More and more individual workers try to defend their rights
by using the individual labor dispute settlement system (industrial
judgment) that began three years ago. However, it is necessary for them
to prepare down payment to a lawyer, and a foundation to loan it was
opened mainly by trade unions in Kanagawa Prefecture. A gathering “To
utilize foundation to support part-time and casual workers ? Don’t be
silent or silenced!” was held at a meeting room of the Minatomachi
Clinic near Yokohama Railway Station in the afternoon of August 1, 2009,
joined by about 20 persons. (Reported by TM)



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anti-Poverty Network: Our Hopes for the Upcoming Election

On July 31, the Anti-Poverty Network held a meeting to raise awareness of the Network’s policy challenges to aim towards a more humanistic society that does not allow poverty to further develop in the back drop of the upcoming election. The meeting was called Our Hopes for the Upcoming Election. Some 350 participants, including many members from the press, filled the Sohyo Kaikan auditorium at Ochanomizu in Tokyo. This meeting was called as the kickoff project to start the anti-poverty campaign in 2009. The program was substantial running for two hours and no intermission. There was an air of excitement as participants listened intently for the whole two hours to the compelling arguments put forward by the speakers, and each party’s diet member (Y, News Team).

 総選挙を控えた7月31日、今度こそ貧困の拡大を許さず、人間らしく生きる社会をめざそうと、「反貧困ネットワーク」が政策課題を掲げる集会を開いた。名称はズバリ「選挙目前! 私たちが望むこと」。東京・お茶の水の総評会館に、多数の報道陣を含め、満員の350人が集まった。2009年の「反貧困キャンペーン」のスタート企画として呼びかけられた。休憩時間をとらない、2時間びっしりと組まれたプログラム。会場は熱気であふれ、参加者たちは、当事者の切実な訴えや、各党の国会議員の発言に、最後まで真剣に耳を傾けていた。(報道部・Y)

Action against Panasonic held in Aichi: Two Dispatched Workers File to be recognised as Fulltime Workers.

On July 28, an action against Panasonic was held in Aichi as part of the national actions against Panasonic called by plaintiffs Tsutomu Yoshioka against Panasonic Plasma Display, Masako Sato against Fukushima Panasonic Electric Works, and Takeshi Kawamoto against Panasonic Electronics Device Japan. Some 30 people gathered at 7.30 AM to handout leaflets at a speak out at targeting workers at the Panasonic Ecosystems Factory located in Kasugai city. Around 400 leaflets were handed out. At 11 AM, two dispatched workers from Aichi Rentai Union filed a written complaint seeking to have Panasonic Ecosystems confirm its direct hire relations (see photo). The compliant was written by attorneys Yuji Nakatani and Shin Noguchi and amounted to 38 pages (Report written by Aichi Rentai Union).

パナソニック総行動 in 愛知~「派遣労働者」2名が雇用確認求め提訴
 7月28日、パナソニック総行動 in 愛知は、全国パナソニック総行動(呼びかけ=パナソニックPDP原告・吉岡力、パナソニック電工福島原告・佐藤昌子、パナソニックエレクトロニックデバパン原告・河本猛)の一環として取り組まれました。早朝7時半から、春日井市にあるパナソニックエコシステムズ工場労働者へ、約30人の仲間がビラ撒きとマイクアピールを行い、400枚のビラを渡すことができました。11時には愛知連帯ユニオンの「派遣労働者」2名がパナソニックエコシステムズに直接雇用関係の確認を求めて提訴(写真)、中谷雄二弁護士と野口新弁護士の書いた訴状は、38ページに及ぶものになりました。(愛知連帯ユニオン)

First Round of Rebellion by Female Dispatched Workers to Oppose the Japan Staffing Services Association

The Japan Staffing Services Association claims that enforcing regulations would mean fewer jobs for dispatched workers. But how true is this claim? It has only been just over six months since we felt the shock felt of seeing the jobless tent city at the start of the year. Despite this, both the ruling and opposing parties have stalled on the Dispatched Employee Law and we are back at square one. The dispatched services industry is active in blocking any regulation. In the midst of a potential change of government, newspapers have reported that the industry bigwigs have attempted to influence Diet members in the Democratic Party. We can no longer stay silent about this watching from the sidelines. We need your support to get 100,000 signatories for more regulation to protect dispatched workers in opposition to the petition being organised by the Japan Staffing Services Association to block any regulation of the industry. On August 5, we protested the Japan Staffing Services Association and had a cosplay march of anger. The rebellion by female dispatched workers will continue until we see the realization of further restrictions in the Dispatched Employee Law. (Written by Action Center for Working Women).

人材派遣協会の署名に反対しよう~オンナ・ハケンの乱 第一弾
 規制を強めると派遣労働の仕事がなくなるって、人材派遣会社はいうけど、ほんとにそう? 年末年始の派遣村の衝撃から、まだ半年と少ししかたっていないのに、与野党の派遣法案は廃案となり仕切りなおしとなりました。派遣業界は、規制阻止の動きを活発にしています。政権交代が叫ばれる中で、その動きは民主党議員にも働きかけがされていると新聞で報道されました。私たちは黙って、もう見ていることはできません。人材派遣協会の規制強化阻止の署名に反対し、派遣労働の規制強化を求める10万人署名活動に協力をして下さい。8月5日には人材派遣協会に抗議申し入れと怒りのコスプレパレードも行います。オンナ・ハケンの乱は、派遣法規制実現まで続くキャンペーンです。(働く女性の全国センター)

Unfair Court Ruling in Kanagawa against Teachers Who Refuse To Stand for the National Anthem

In just five seconds the Yokohama District Court on July 16 ruled that it would reject the plaintiffs’ case and its main argument. The plaintiffs who are 170 teachers in Kanagawa Prefecture have been fighting for freedom of speech for four years seeking courts to recognize that there is no legal obligation for Kanagawa teaching staff to stand for and sing the national anthem under the Constitution. On the day of the ruling, 140 teachers stood waiting outside the courts to hear the ruling as there was only 35 seats available in the auditorium. Plaintiff leader Sanrin was momentarily speechless after relaying to the crowd waiting outside that the unfair ruling was made in less than five seconds. However, he continued to say that this was definitely not the end, which was greeted with a loud applause. In Kanagawa, close to 100 teachers refuse to stand for the national anthem and are faced with legal battles every year. The defeated plaintiffs stated that that this ruling has put a brake on the battle that has been continuing for four years. (Written by M)