Monday, October 31, 2016

‘We have no other choice but unions... a gate to hope’

On Oct. 12, Labornet TV sent a special program, "What's behind cheap laundry business?”
 Laundry business is said to be one of industries filled with corporate malpractices. The term generally carries connotation of being a sweatshop, and such companies resort to exploiting young staff and part-timers by forcing them to work excessively long hours without overtime pay. This year, unions were formed at one company after another. The workers from three companies, Royal Net, Global Company and Kagaya Shoukai appeared on Labornet TV and talked about their longstanding struggles and their delight to be a union member.
 Every year, in the factories of Global Company, quite a lot of workers suffered a heat stroke where the working condition was like "a burning hell," with the temperature hovering as much as 48 degrees Celsius. This horrific working environment urged the employees to form a union. On July 26, they successfully unionized and demanded that the company that it install cooling measures among other issues.
 Thanks to the newly born union, the workers were able to get some result from collective bargaining. The union members now have a say, got paid overtime, can take a break, and have paid vacation, and social insurance.
 These ordinary practices that they had never had before came finally into reality.
 SUZUKI Kazuyuki, the owner of the laundry company, said emphatically, "We need a labor union in this business by all means because rough competitive environment leads to deteriorating the quality of services, and also it brings adverse effects on consumers."
 IBUSUKI Shoichi, a lawyer and commentator on the program, got the heart of the problem of Japan's trainee system for young foreigners, which is widely perceived little more than a cheap labor to compensate for labor shortage at factories and on farms.   (Labornet TV project ) 

やっぱり「希望はユニオン!」~レイ バーネットTVでクリーニング特集

12日のレイバーネットTVは特集「格安クリーニ ングの裏側~灼熱地獄からのたたかい」を放送した。業界自体が ブラックといわれるクリーニング業界で、ことし組合結成が相次 いだ。番組には、ロイヤルネット・グローバル社・加賀屋商会の3 つの職場の労働者が出演した。グローバル社の工場は48度の「灼 熱地獄」で、毎年熱中症で倒れる人が続出した。そんな中で726 日に組合をつくり「冷房対策」を求め一定の成果を上げた。成果 はほかにも「意見が言えるようになった」「残業代がでた」「休 憩時間がとれた」「有給がとれた」「社会保険に入れた」など、 あたりまえのことが組合ができてやっと実現したのだ。経営者の 鈴木和幸さんも、「この業界に労働組合が必要。苛酷な労働環境 は結局品質低下を招き、消費者にも迷惑をかけている」と強調し た。番組のコメンテーターは指宿昭一弁護士で、「外国人技能実 習生問題」にもズバリ斬り込んだ。(レイバーネットTVプロジェ クト)


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