Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"We are happy with the union despite harassment and discrimination": Struggle of Miyako Mainichi Union

The Labornet TV program No. 34 broadcast on June 14 featured the struggle by union members of a daily newspaper in Miyakojima, a small island of Ryukyu Archipelago. The Miyako Mainichi Union was organized in 2006 aiming to address the issue of non-regular employment in the company. Immediately after the establishment of the union, severe harassment by the president started. Union members were removed from the mainstream editorial work, harassed, bullied and discriminated. Proposals for collective bargaining were repeatedly refused. However, defiant union members were on strike. "We have been bullied all the time since the start of the union activity, but we are stronger with it. It is not possible to confront with the management alone. We can express opinions, take actions and fight with the management because we are united," said ONKAWA Junji (center in the photo), the chief executive of the union.  
The secretary general of the union, YAMASHITA Makoto, was on strike and joined the program in the island over the phone. "Through union activity, I learned a lot about fellow workers, work, human beings and life," he said.  
Though small in membership and located in a tiny remote island, Miyako Mainichi Union were struggling for human dignity. The audience and staff in the studio were deeply impressed. The program certainly touched upon the basics of the labor union movement. (by M)   


614日のレイバーネットTV34号は、琉球列島・宮古島の「宮古毎日新聞争議」を特集した。非正規問題を取り上げて2006年に組合をつくった宮古毎 日労組に対して、社長は猛烈な嫌がらせを開始した。本来の編集の仕事を奪い、いじめ・差別・団交拒否を繰り返した。でも組合は負けずにストライキでたた かっている。恩川委員長(写真中央)は語る。「いじめばかりだったが組合をつくってよかった。一人で経営者に対抗することはできないが組合があるから意見 が言える。行動できる。たたかえる」。
現地から電話参加したスト中の山下書記長も「組合で、仲間のこと、働くこと、人間のこと、そして生きることを学ん だ」と述べた。宮古島の小さなたたかいは「人間の尊厳」をかけた大きなたたかいだった。スタジオにも共感が広がり、労働組合の原点に触れる番組になった(M)

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