Sunday, June 19, 2011

Victory in lawsuit over “only-in-the-name” manager! Overtime charges to be paid

On May 31, 2011, the Tachikawa Branch of the Tokyo District Court gave a decision on unpaid overtime money and compensation for sickness caused by working long hours for SHIMIZU Fumiyoshi, who was working for SHOP 99, a large convenience store chain. Mr. Shimizu worked for longer than 80 hours from August 7 to 10, 2006 when he was a manager of a store of the chain. He also had to work for 37 consecutive days. Such hard work made him depressed and forced to be absent. The judgment was to order the management of the chain to pay him overtime charges and to grant damages for the overwork, which were approximately 1,640,000 yen, or 20,000 dollars in total. SHOP 99 is now expanding as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lawson, a bigger convenience store chain. It is time to change ways of working of managers and owners of convenience stores into more humane ones. (YAMADA Shingo, Tokyo Young Contingent Workers' Union) – Video (Collective bargaining at SHOP 99) * Photo: After the decision (Mr. Shimizu is in the center)

大手コンビニSHOP99(株式会社九九プラス)で勤務していた清水文美さんの残業代未払いならびに長時間労働による過労で労災になった件の損害賠償裁判の判決が5月31日、東京地裁立川支部で言い渡されました。清水さんは、SHOP99店長として勤務していた06年8月7日から10日にかけてはタイムカード上で合計80時間以上の勤務をしていた。また37日間連続勤務をし、その結果うつ状態になり休職をしました。今回の判決で、会社に対し残業代を支払い、長時間労働による過労への損害賠償を認めました(約164万円の支払い)。SHOP99は現在ローソン株式会社の完全子会社になり、ますます規模が拡大しています。どこの街にもあるコンビニの店長の働き方を変え、人間らしい労働を作っていきましょう。(首都圏青年ユニオン・山田真吾) ・動画(SHOP99団交ビデオ) *写真=判決後の記念撮影(中央が清水さん)

Sexual harassment victim appeals – “Compensation now!”

On May 22, 2011, there was a gathering, “Compensation for sexual harassment victims now! – Toward revision of standards for recognizing it so as to reflect its reality”, in central Tokyo. A sexual harassment victim who was forced to leave her workplace and see a psychiatrist appealed in the meeting. TAKENOBU Mieko, a former member of the editorial board of Asahi Shimbun, a national newspaper, said in a panel discussion, “Those having power or in a stronger position take advantage of the weakness of workers when committing sexual harassment. The victims cannot continue to work, and this problem becomes a hotbed for poverty”. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has considered revising criteria for compensation for sexual harassment and their management in its subcommittee meeting. In the “Compensation now!” gathering, participants adopted an appeal to demand standards and guidelines for widely recognizing the compensation based on the reality of sexual harassment. (OZAWA Kuniko)


Shut down Shiga Nuclear Power Plant! 10 grassroots organizations in Toyama start “Daily action”

In Toyama, Japan, ten grassroots organizations have started “Daily action” to demand Hokuriku Electric Power Company, a local utility company to permanently shut down its Shiga Nuclear Power Plant. Its answer to the people’s demand on May 25, 2011 was very perfunctory, “We are sorry for the disaster in Fukushima, but we continue operating the nuclear power plant with appropriate safety measures to prevent an accident”, and “30% of Japan’s electricity is supplied with nuclear power due to the Japanese Government’s energy policy, so the plant is necessary”. We, men and women of all ages, appealed in front of the company’s office, “Shut down Shiga!”, “We don’t want nukes!”, “We want a future for children without nukes!”, “Farewell to nukes” and “Goodbye to nukes”. (MURAYAMA Kazuhiro) – Video: YouTube

富山では、10の市民団体が北陸電力に対して原発廃炉を求めて「毎日行動」を開始しています。市民団体の志賀原発永久停止の事前申し入れに対して、5月25日の会社側回答は、実に居直ったものでした。「福島は残念だが北電は事故を起こさない安全対策を行うので、今後も原発を運転します」「国のエネルギー方針で電力の30%を原子力でまかなっています。原発は必要です」と繰り返すだけの紋切り型でした。私たちは会社前で(写真)、子供も親も「志賀原発廃炉に!」「やっぱり原発なしで暮らしたい!」「原発のない未来を子どもたちに残したい!」「原発さようなら」「原発バイバイ」と訴えました。(村山和弘) ・動画(YouTube) 

Resistance never dies! Despite unlawful punishment for “Refusal for standing up during Kimigayo playing”

TANAKA Satoshi, a teacher at Akiruno Gakuen school for the disabled, refused to stand up while Kimigayo, Japan’s controversial national anthem, was being played at its entrance ceremony in April 2011 for his belief. The Tokyo Metropolitan Education Board forcibly reprimanded Mr. Tanaka, 41, on May 26 at its regular meeting. About 20 people demanded the board not to punish him in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building (photo). NEZU Kimiko, who was teaching at the same school before retirement and also refused to stand up during Kimigayo playing, said, “Simply asking children to follow a command without teaching the meaning of the anthem is to rob their thinking skills. One of the reasons of the recent nuclear disaster in Fukushima is that everyone ‘does not think or doubt’ at all, and has been deceived by the ‘myth of nuclear safety’”. People who participated in the session of the education board demanded the board members, “Stop punishing” and “Shame on you”. Mr. Tanaka’s refusal to stand up during Kimigayo playing was beyond expectation for the education board and showed that resistance never dies. (M)


First step to move the government: Negotiation with MEXT to demand repeal of annual 20 mSv limit

On May 23, 2011, 60 people from Fukushima Prefecture joined a negotiation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to demand the annual 20 mSv limit of radiation be repealed. More than 500 supporters for the people from Fukushima formed a human chain to surround the ministry. The two-hour negotiation made Mr. Watanabe, assistant director of the science, technology and academic policy division of the ministry, pledge, “20 mSv a year is not a standard. Our target is 1 mSv/year”. NAKATE Seiichi, leader of a grassroots group named “Fukushima Network”, said, “We succeeded in getting a pledge from the ministry, although there was not the real person in charge. I am sure this is the first step to move the government, but this is just a beginning”. (YUMOTO Masanori) – Video: YouTube – Video: OurPlanet TVCartoon by Ichihanahana: “Guinea pigs”  * Photo: People negotiating with MEXT

5月23日、20ミリシーベルト/年の撤回を求める文科省交渉が行われ、福島からバス2台・60名の代表が参加した。文科省前には、500名以上の支援者が集まり、文科省を完全に包囲するヒューマンチェーンが完成した。交渉は2時間に及び、渡辺文科省科学技術・学術政策局次長から「20ミリシーベルト/年は、基準ではない。1ミリシーベルト/年をめざす」の2点を確認点として引き出した。今回の交渉について「福島ネットワーク」代表の中手聖一さんは、「残念ながら文科省の責任者不在の交渉ではありましたが、ある程度文科省に詰めよることができました。国を動かす第一歩であったことは間違いありません。しかし、これから始まるのだとも思います」とまとめた。(湯本雅典)・動画(YouTube)動画(OurPlanet-TV 山本太郎インタビューあり) ・壱花花の漫画「モルモット」 *写真=文科省で交渉する人たち