The 2013 Annual General Meeting brought together about 90 union members who listened to officer reports covering the different GU sectors (Private Language Industry - PLI, Schools and Colleges - SAC, Industrial and Commercial - I&C), and the annual finance report and budget.
Members who have won recent victories or are currently in dispute also asked for support in their workplaces and thanked union members for their past help.
The current branch chair of the Peppy Kids Club Branch spoke about his dismissal for union activity and how he was touched to see the number of members in his branch grow after he was fired. The solidarity in this branch will guarantee a victory and many new union activists.
The branch chair of the Osaka Gaigo Branch spoke about their recent victory against forced retirement. It was the branch's commitment to strike if they couldn't win at the negotiation table that led to a victory over this problem.
The last speaker, the branch chair of the union's Shinobu Foods branch spoke about her branch's most recent collective agreement guaranteeing job security through a pre consultation agreement covering contract renewals, a grievance procedure, dues check off, and pay for collective bargaining held within working hours. She also talked about their new demands for a pay increase from ¥850 per hour to ¥1000 and asked for union members’ support in case of a strike. The branch chair spoke elegantly about the rights of workers to dignity in the workplace.
New Union Executive Committee
This year also brought the union a full executive board, the first in four years. The four women elected to the committee is the highest in probably ten years while the number of new officers, six, is also the most in many years.
Even the election for auditors brought a pleasant surprise as four union members, the most ever, volunteered to keep the integrity of the union's finances.
The evening ended, as always, with pizza, beer, and a good time, back at the union office.
The union will face many challenges over the next few years and the hope is that the new energetic executive committee can meet the members' needs and that a whole new layer of activists will become a new generation of leaders.