Sunday, December 28, 2008

ISUZU MOTORS LIMITED Accepts Union's Demand for "Continued Use of Company Dwelling Facilities"

To counter ISUZU MOTORS' plan to dismiss 1,400 fixed-term or agency-dispatched temporary employees as of December 26, collective bargaining was held with ISUZU on December 15, jointly organized by the Kanto Regional Council of the All Japan Shipbuilding and Engineering Union (ZENZOSEN), ISUZU MOTORS Chapter and Shonan Union. Unionists demanded that the cancellation of contracts be revoked, work on the ISUZU factory's premises be secured, assistance services be given for finding job openings and the permission to dwell in company housing units and dormitories be extended. The company responded as follows:
(1) It is not possible to revoke contract termination.
(2) An employment assistance office for assisting outgoing employees has been launched on the factory premises to start operation on December 9.
(3) Company dormitory residents among fixed-term employees may continue to use their rooms free of charge up to the date when the initial contracts would expire or until they find a new job or dwelling.
Photo: Flier distribution at a station (December 17)


いすゞ自動車が期間従業員・派遣従業員1,400人を12月26日で解雇しようとしている問題で、全造船機械労働組合関東地方協議会・いすゞ自動車分会、湘南ユニオンは合同で12月15日、いすゞ自動車との団体交渉を開催した。組合側の契約解除の撤回、構内への仕事確保、就業の斡旋、社宅・寮居住の延期などの要求に対し会社側は、(1)撤回には応じられない (2)就業斡旋は12月9日より工場内に再就職支援室を設置した (3)期間従業員の寮入居者は再就職・新たな住居が見つかるまで、当初の契約満了まで無料で提供する、と回答してきた。 詳細 *写真=駅頭チラシまき(12/17)

Amusing and Inspiring - Labor Festa OSAKA

The annual Labor Festa OSAKA took place on December 14 in the south wing of L-Osaka (Osaka Prefecture Labor Center). This arena of cultural expressions attracted 140 participants with a cinema "Floating Crab Cannery" and rakugo talks as well as "three-minute video clips" featuring labor-related or other social issues. Among those three-minute video clips, 14 were entries by residents of the Kansai district, including excellent entries expressing an essence of labor and life from applicants who joined the short video screening for the first time this year such as "Portraits of the Family 2008" on life of a couple and their child and "My Struggle Back to the Classroom" summarizing the participant's four-year long struggle against dismissal as punishment. Fifty-eight responses were turned in for the questionnaire, many of which gave free comments such as "It has made me feel confident that even I could make a three-minute video clip as good as any of those I saw at the Kansai festa" (Wow!) and "Next year, I would like to attend the video production seminar." The Labor Festa was amusing and inspiring while helping us to develop our thoughts. (Osahito KOYAMA)



A Big One Has Come.

Tornado Depression (upper)
Dismissal notice (middle)
Capitalism (botom)

Ichi Hana Hana

でかいのが来た  漫画 : 壱花花

No Way to Tolerate On-the-Fly Dismissal - Workers Approach Canon Headquarters, Oita

On December 10, the Canon Chapter of Gaten-kei Rentai (Japan Construction and Transport Industry Workers Solidarity Union) visited the Canon headquarters in Oita to make request concerning the downsizing in a scale over 1100. Union Chapter President Shuhei KATO (Photo on the left, a temporary worker of an employment agency) sharply demanded a response saying, "Do you know about what is happening to us? We are told to leave the very day we get a dismissal notice and leave the dormitory on that day as well." The unionists' letter of request includes priority appointment of current sub-contracted employees as fixed-term regular employees of the company and permission for dwelling in the dormitory until new employment is found among other things. The photo on the right is General Affairs officers that would not receive the letter of request. (Tokachi TSUCHIYA)



Tokyo East Union under National Union of General Workers Holds Collective Bargaining with THE JAPAN GENERAL ESTATE on Withdrawn Employment Offers

Concerning the withdrawal of 53 employment offers by THE JAPAN GENERAL ESTATE, we at the NUGW Tokyo East Union held collective bargaining with the company in Tokyo. At the beginning of the meeting, representatives of the company bowed their head in apology, saying "We are sorry that we have caused trouble for you by withdrawing employment offers." To this, we responded, "Why is President Makoto NISHIMARU absent?" and "The company should appologize at a press conference." The company representatives had offered financial compensation of \420,000 per person (two-month salaries on a basis of the initial basic monthly wage of \210,000). However, after the students concerned joined the union and took action including a press conference, they raised the sum to one million yen. (SUDA at Tokyo Tobu Union) (Refer to the related blog.) Photo: Meeting before the collective bargaining


日本綜合地所が53人の採用内定を取り消した問題で、私たち全国一般東京東部労組は12月9日、会社との団体交渉を都内の会議室で開催しました。交渉の冒頭で会社側の出席者は立ち上がって「内定取り消しでご迷惑をおかけしたことをお詫びいたします」と頭を下げました。これに対して、私たちは「西丸誠社長がなぜ出席していないのか」「マスコミを前に謝罪するべきだ」と追及しました。会社側は内定取り消し後、1人42万円(初任給の基本給21万円×2ヶ月)を金銭補償として学生たちに提示していましたが、学生が組合に加入し記者会見などをやった後に1人100万円に増額しました。(東部労組・須田) 詳細(当該ブログ)*写真=団交前の打合せ

Dispatched Workers Are Humans, Not Items - More Than 2000 Gather at December 4 Hibiya Rally

On December 4 evening, a rally was held in the Hibiya Outdoor Music Hall, Tokyo, for drastic revision of the Worker Dispatching Law, with about 2,000 participants virtually occupying all seats. In response to a call by fifteen individuals including Satoshi KAMATA, a broad range of unionists gathered across party lines from National Union, Zenrokyo, Zenroren, Zennikken, Zenkowan, Kokuro, Doro Chiba, and small and middle-sized enterprise unions as well as political party representatives from the Democratic Party of Japan, Japan Communist Party, Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party, who extended messages. Temporary workers in the midst of struggles against ISUZU, Canon, Panasonic, tour escorts dispatching agencies and Goodwill received greatest applause when they stood on the stage, carrying a sign "Dispatched Workers Are Humans, not Items." The rally was full of enthusiasm to unite all voices that no bill for false improvement of the Worker Dispatching Law would be tolerated.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anti-war and Resistance Festival Demonstration with Loud Music

Photos by Mukimbo (On Nov. 30/ At Shibuya)  Mukimbo Photo Museum  ・“Anti-war and Resistance Festival” Blog


 写真撮影=ムキンポさん(11月30日・渋谷) ムキンポ写真館 ・「反戦と抵抗の祭」ブログ 

Protest Against Revoking of Job Offers ~ Students Stand Up, Unionize

On Nov. 28, the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu held a press conference at Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry for 53 university senior students whose job offers were revoked. (See photo) They were to start work at The Japan General Estate Co next spring. We announced to the press that some of the students joined the Tokyo Tobu and decided to resolve the case through collective bargaining with the company. The Tokyo Tobu and non-profit organization Labor Consultation Center have been receiving an increasing number of calls from university students about cancellation of job offers amid the global financial crisis. At the time jobs are unofficially offered, the relationship between labor and management is already established. Annulment of the offers without compensation should not be forgiven. The students who joined the Tokyo Tobu said they were able to encourage others who are experiencing the same struggle because they decided to stand up for their rights. (By Ari Sugano, Tokyo Tobu)


History and Beauty of Satirical Cartoons ~ MediR Workshop Opens

From Nov. 29-30, MediR held a series of seminar, “Let’s laugh off authorities! Workshop on satirical cartoon,” at Waseda University and welcomed a South Korean satirical cartoon researcher, Lee Kijin, as a lecturer. The workshop discussed a wide range of issues such as how Japanese and South Korean satirical cartoons are regarded nowadays, how Japanese artists supported war during World War II, and on the Muhammad satirical cartoon case and freedom of expression in cartoons. On the last day of the workshop, Lee taught how to draw satirical cartoons (Lee Kijin, photo right), and participants critiqued each other’s work. The workshop helped convey the beauty of satirical cartoons and reaffirmed the art as one of media with which citizens can express themselves. (By Ichihanahana)



Behind Coercion of “Kimigayo” ~ Evening with Film “I Will Not Give Up,” Lecture

On Nov. 26, about 200 people gathered at Tokyo’s Nakano Zero Hall to see a documentary, “I Will Not Give Up – Resistance to Stand for Kimigayo National Anthem,” and hear political scientist, Osamu Watanabe, speak for an hour on neo-liberalistic educational reform, which, he sees, lies behind the government’s coercion to stand up for Kimigayo. “What the financial sector wants is to change schools into places where they raise elites and obedient workers necessary for corporations by brining market fundamentalism. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara suppressed teachers’ resistance force by holding teachers’ conferences only for formality, and enforcing teachers to stand up for the national anthem because he needed to control them for his reforms,” Watanabe said. In order to protest, we must “begin reconstructing unions and bring together comrades.” Watanabe’s lecture was thought-provoking for the future struggle. (M)



Stop Dispatch of Troops, Refueling Mission! ~ 6th Rally at Diet

As deliberations are about to end at extraordinary parliamentary session on extension of Japan’s anti-terrorism special law that allows dispatch of Japanese troops and refueling mission, the 6th protest rally was held from 12:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at upper house parliamentarians hall on Nov. 18. Protesters from citizens’ groups and labor unions, including an organization for making good use of the Constitution for daily life and Zenrokyo (the national conference of labor unions), demanded that the parliament continue interrogation of former Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) General Toshio Tamogami on his essay, which justified Japan’s wartime aggression, and dissolve to ask public opinion before passing the law. Members of a group to stop revision of Article 9 also carried out a sit-in protest against extension of refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and making the SDF dispatch a permanent law. (By Minoru Daichi; Photo by group to protect Article 9)

派兵給油新法延長するな! 第6波国会前集会が行われる
 臨時国会で新テロ特措法(派兵給油新法)の延長の審議が大詰めを迎えているなか、「派兵給油新法延長反対!第6波国会前集会」が、11月18日の12.30~13.30まで参議院議員会館前路上で行われた。呼びかけは「憲法を生かす会」「全労協」など市民・労働団体で、「田母神前・航空幕僚長のとんでもない論文問題をわずか一度の参考人喚問で終わらせるな。重要法案の強行をする前に国会は解散して民意を問うべき」などと訴えた。また9条改憲阻止の会の人たちも「インド洋給油延長反対! アフガン派兵反対! 自衛隊海外派兵恒久法の制定を許すな!」のスローガンの横断幕と共に、粘り強く座り込み抗議活動を続けていた。(大地実) 写真(9条改憲阻止の会)

Osaka Government to Dismiss 346 Teachers on Non-Regular Contract in March

The Osaka prefectural government plans to dismiss 346 teachers on non-regular contract next spring. They assist regular, full-time teachers with home-economics and science labs at Osaka public schools, as well as making copies. They have been employed and laid off by semester, but they were proud of being a part of educational institution for years even on poor working conditions. Now, schools are about to dismiss them. A mass layoff of all of them would bring chaos to the place of education. This is not something the government should push through even if it is considered an employment reform. We ask you to watch footages of non-regular teachers who stood up for their rights (Photo taken at Danketsu Solidarity Festival), and we ask for your support in this struggle. (By Nakama Union member, Keiichi Idekubo) Non-regular teachers demand. (Video) See clips on UnionTube.

来年3月 大阪府が学校非正規職員346人を首切り!

 大阪府は、家庭科や理科の実習助手やプリント印刷を一手に引き受ける教務補助員として大阪府立学校で働いている非正規職員346人を、来年3月で一斉に解雇します。数ヶ月単位で採用と解雇を繰り返す「学期雇用」、年収105万円という劣悪な労働条件でも、教育活動の一環を担っているという誇りを持って何十年も働いて来た労働者を解雇しようというのです。全員解雇となれば教育現場の混乱は必至です。雇用政策として考えても行政がやることではありません。声を上げた非正規職員の皆さんの映像(写真・団結まつり)をぜひご覧いただき、ご支援お願いします。(なかまユニオン・井手窪啓一) 非正規職員の訴え(動画) 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Temporary Workers on Strike at Nara Factory, Mori Seiki

An impressive one-day strike was staged by temporary workers at Nara Campus No. 1 Plant of Mori Seiki Co., Ltd. on November 13, 2008, which is located in Yamato Koriyama City, Nara Prefecture. Nine employees on temporary status working at the factory formed the Mori Skill Formation Center Branch, Osaka East Local of Kansai Godo Trade Union and protested against the cancellation of their employment contract, or dismissal in November. Mori Seiki is a world-famous machine tool manufacturer. Although the maker enjoyed sharp increases in revenues in the past five years, it suddenly announced that it would reduce the number of its temporary employees by 300 due to the financial crisis stemming from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the decrease in export caused by the appreciation of the Japanese yen. The nine members of the branch and their supporters stuck with the one-day strike by handing out fliers at their workplace at the start and end of the office hours, beginning at 7 :30 in the morning and in the evening, issued a strike notice and presented their demands to the company, voiced their discontent and rallied against the management in its premise, held a meeting and appealed to the public in front of Kintetsu Nara Station. (MIYAMOTO Takao)



Value of Fixed-Amount Benefit of 12,000 yen

Cartoon: Ichihanahana


  漫画 : 壱花花

Music, Coup de Ballet, and Hot-air Balloons! ~ Powerful and Energetic Workers’ Rally in South Korea

We visited Seoul, South Korea to join the Workers’ Rally that is held every November. The pre-event held in the evening of November 8 was filled with a very large number of people in front of Seoul Railway Station. We were very impressed with the sense of unity between respective struggle reports, music performances, dancing performances in groups and participants. The most impressive was hundreds of handmade red hot-air paper balloons. Cheers were raised once they were flown into the night sky. The Workers’ Rally (photo) that started at 2 PM of the following day attracted 30,000 participants so as to fill DaeHak-ro in Seoul, which is a trend-setting area in the city. All the participants chanted their messages together with the heavy sound coming out of a large screen that was installed on the stage. Various trade unions opened their booths on the pedestrian area, which became good opportunities for exchange. (KAWAMURA Takefumi) Photo and video (UnionTube)


 毎年11月に開催される韓国労働者大会に参加するためソウルを訪ねた。8日夜に開かれた前夜祭は、ソウル駅前を埋め尽くす大きな盛り上がりを見せた。個々の闘いの報告と音楽と群舞とが参加者と一体となった演出で、とても感動した。圧巻は手製の紙風船による熱気球(?)で、数百の赤い気球が夜空に舞い上がると大きな歓声が上がった。翌9日の午後2時から始まった労働者大会(写真)は、ソウル市大学路を制圧する3万人の大集会となった。舞台に設営された大スクリーンは、後ろの方では見えなかったが、響き渡る音響の下に一同気勢を上げた。また歩道上は、各組合が出店を開いていて、交流の場になっていた。(川村剛史) 動画(UnionTube)

Laugh at Power! ~ Course to Learn Essence of Caricature

Cartoon is an important medium to communicate people’s messages. Why not supplement your characters-only leaflets and posters with cartoon! The “Caricature Workshop” that will be held on November 29 and 30 at MediR attempts to incorporate cartoon into social movement more proactively. The lecturer is Lee Kijin, a South Korean researcher of caricature focusing on the issues of war and poverty and the criticism of power. She will explain how to appeal with caricature from various angles, such as its history in Japan and the world. Anybody is welcome if interested in expressing with cartoon. (Ichihanahana) Past and present caricature in the world. *Left: Cartoon by Lacoste, 2008. Satirizing the economic crisis. A float from the White House is thrown to rescue the Wall Street, not the poor.


漫画は、民衆のメッセージを伝える重要なメディアです。文字ばかりのチラシやポスターに、花を添えませんか。MediR(メディアール)で11月29~30日に開かれる「風刺漫画ワークショップ」は、運動のなかにもっと漫画を取り入れようという試み。戦争・貧困・権力の批判をテーマとする韓国の風刺漫画研究家・李其珍(イ・ギジン)さんを講師に、世界と日本の風刺漫画の歴史など、様々な角度から風刺漫画の魅力に迫ります。漫画で表現することに関心のある人ならだれでも受講可能です。(壱花花) 詳細・古今東西の風刺漫画 *左の風刺漫画=ラコステ・作 2008年 経済危機を風刺しています。ホワイトハウスからの救援の浮き輪が、貧困層にではなく、ウォールストリートに向けて投げられています。

Three Released and Welcomed with Cheer ~ 250 Gather at Protest Rally against Suppression of Peaceful Walk to Aso’s Mansion

A rally was held at the Sohyo Kaikan building in Tokyo at night of November 6 to protest against the sudden and unlawful police attack on the participants in the peaceful “tour to Prime Minister Aso’s mansion” with three malicious arrests. The venue was filled with 250 participants including the three who had just been released in the afternoon of the same day. The unlawfully-arrested, who were welcomed with a storm of applause, earnestly revealed what was going on during their detention and appealed for further support for their continued struggle. Hagio Kenta, a lawyer of Shibuya Kyodo Law Office, emphasized in support of them, “The suppression and arrest caused by the contents of the placards are unconstitutional, violating ‘freedom of expression’. We will demand the charge be completely dropped”. (T. YOKOYAMA) - The Rescue Group blog

「麻生邸拝見ツアー」に参加した人々に突然警官が襲いかかり、不当にも3人を連れ去った事件への抗議集会が11月6日夜、東京・総評会館で開かれた。会場には満員の250人が集い、この日の午後釈放されたばかりの仲間が元気な姿を見せた。3人は大きな拍手で迎えられ、勾留中の厳しい状況を切々と語り、今後の闘いへのさらなる支援を訴えた。渋谷共同法律事務所の萩尾健太弁護士は、「プラカードに書かれた内容で逮捕した今回の弾圧は、『表現の自由』を奪う憲法違反の行為だ。完全な不起訴を要求して闘っていく」と力を込めた。(T・横山) ・救援会ブログ

“JR East is Terrible enough to Punish only for Badge!” ~ Appeal with Rage in Front of JR East HQ

Tsujii Yoshiharu, who got a 10-day suspension for putting a Kokuro (National Railworkers’ Union) badge, and his supporters staged a one-day protest against East Japan Railway Company (JR East) on November 5. The Tokyo Metropolitan Labor Relations Commission judged in favor of Mr. Tsujii on March 27, 2008. He said, “My salary for this month is 120,000 yen, half of the usual amount due to the punishment. Despite the commitment of JR to compliance, it actually reveals its lack of morality without following the order from the labor relations commission”. JR East deployed an excessively large number of guards against the protesters heading to the entrance to the headquarters (photo). In addition, JR East even refused to accept any letters, with its undemocratic nature being exposed. Passers-by were very surprised at the appeal, “JR East is a terrible company enough to punish an employee only for putting a badge” and gazed up at the huge JR East H
R Building. (SASAKI Yumi) - Video (UnionTube)

「JR東はバッジで処分するひどい会社です!」~怒りの訴え 本社前に響く

 国労バッジ着用で10日間の出勤停止処分を受けた辻井義春さんと支援者は、11月5日、JR東日本への一日抗議行動を行なった。バッジ処分については、3月27日都労委が辻井さん側に勝利命令を出している。辻井さんは「今月の賃金は処分のためいつもの半分の12万円。JRは法令遵守を謳っているが、実際は都労委命令にも従わないモラルのない会社だ」とマイクで訴えた。申入れのため本社玄関前に向かう一行(写真)に対して、会社は多数のガードマンを配置し過剰警備。しかも申入れ書も一切受け取らない非常識な対応だった。「JR東日本はバッジで処分するひどい会社です」と訴えると、通行人はビックリしてJR東の巨大なビルを見上げていた。(佐々木有美) ・動画(UnionTube)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Three arrested attempting to view Prime Minister Aso’s mansion.

 On October 26, I went on a “Reality Tour” march to see Taro Aso’s grand mansion. I was curious to see what the 6.2 billion yen mansion looked like. We gathered around the Hachiko statue by Shibuya Station and set off on the Tour. I was towards the back of the march, and we attracted curious onlookers. One group of high school students (I assume) asked me what we were marching for. I replied that we were on the “Taro Aso Mansion Reality Tour”, to which they asked, “But, why are there so many police?” I didn’t really know so I told them to ask the police directly, but the police had nothing to say. It was in the midst of this kind of conversation that a sudden commotion erupted towards the front of the march. Before I knew what was happening, three people had been arrested. I can’t believe this outrage: people were arrested for walking down a public street and trying to see Aso’s mansion! (Reported by Furuta)
* The photo is of the arrests (source: TBS Television)  
* animation 

 10月26日、麻生総理邸宅見学ツアーに行ってきました。62億円の大邸宅とはどんなものかと好奇心丸出しで野次馬根性で参加しました。 渋谷駅ハチ公前に集まっていよいよ出発しました。私はツアーの後ろのほうで歩いていて、通行人も珍しそうにみていました。女子高生らしき人から「これは何ですか」「麻生総理大臣宅の見学会です」「でもなぜ警察官がこんなについているんですか」「さあ警察官に聞いてください」、おまわりさん無言。 こんな会話をしながら歩いていると、突然前方が騒がしくなりました。3名が突然逮捕されたというのです。公道を歩いているだけで、麻生総理宅を見学するだけで逮捕されるという、とんでもない出来事が起きてしまったのです。(古田)

October 24: Mass meeting demands settlement of JR’s discriminatory employment practices

On October 24, a national railway meeting was held at Hibiya Yaon in Tokyo by the“Four Organisations, Four Unions”, involving, according to event sponsors, 11,200 participants principally from labour unions. Participating organisations included Kokuro, Zendoro and the plaintiffs of Japan Railway Construction Public Corporation lawsuit. The meeting heard a variety of speeches, including an inspiring speech from Satoshi Kamata, and others expressing their determination to continue the struggle. The organisations and family members affected by the dismissal travelled from as far as Hokkaido and Kyushu to participate in this event. One family said that they wanted this event to be the last, but that they couldn’t give up on their demands for employment, pensions and a settlement. Unfortunately, the event was marred by disruptive heckling from a group that opposed the political strategy of the “Four Organisations, Four Unions”, who had dropped their demand for the dismissed workers to be reinstated. Participants also demonstrated in Ginza and demanded a prompt resolution of the JR dispute.
*Photo of the organisations and family members chanting.


 10月24日、東京・日比谷野音で国労・全動労・鉄建公団訴訟原告団など「4者4団体」が主催する国鉄集会が開かれ、労組を中心に11,200人(主催者発表)が集まった。呼びかけ人の鎌田慧(かまたさとし)さんの激励挨拶や当事者の決意表明などがあった。この日、被解雇者である闘争団・家族は北海道・九州から多数上京した。ある家族は「この集会を最後にしたい。でも雇用・年金・解決金の要求はゆずれない」と語っていた。また「解雇撤回を下ろした4者4団体の政治解決路線」に反対するグループが、集会中激しいヤジを飛ばしたため騒然とする場面もあった。参会者は、銀座にデモを繰り出し、JR不採用事件の早期解決を訴えた。 *写真は団結ガンバローをする闘争団・家族

Surrounding the Supreme Court with ribbons to appeal against gender-based wage discrimination.

On October 22 at 11am, blue skies were visible as women surrounded the Supreme Court, holding ribbons and chanting “Fair days pay for women’s work!” (see photo). The Supreme Court is currently hearing two cases of gender-based wage discrimination: Mitsue Nozaki vs. Showa Shell Sekiyu; and Kanematsu Corporation. Despite both cases achieving partial victories in the high courts, the judge limited their victory by ruling that discrimination before the enactment of the Law for Equal Employment Opportunity would not be considered. One hundred and twenty people, mainly women, gathered to support the plaintiffs and to appeal to the Supreme Court. The organiser Yasuko Yunoki, emphasised that this case will lead to changing structural wage discrimination in various types of employment, including regular employees, non-regular and part-time. Source: UnionTube video and Show Shell Labour Union homepage.

動画(UnionTube) ・昭和シェル労組HP 

Keep Keihin Hotel open! No to closure and redundancies!

The Keihin branch of Tokyo Union received notice on October 20 from the Keihin Hotel (located in front of Shinagawa station, Tokyo) that all 130 employees would be made redundant and the hotel closed due to its ailing business from the Lehman bankruptcy. The Union is fighting back with their demands that the hotel be kept open and management reinstate the workers. On the evening of the 20th, approximately 100 people gathered, including supporters and media, to protest in front of the hotel (see photo). The Chair of the union angrily spoke out against the management’s actions: “Everyone has families to support. Why should workers have to foot the bill for management’s recklessness?” Some women workers were in tears as they protested. The Union is occupying the Hotel while, at the same time, applying for an injunction on the 21st to uphold their demands. Source: Freeter Workers Union online magazine and Keihin Hotel occupiers’ blog.


Let’s change society to change politics! Two thousand participants speak out against poverty and for social reform.

 On October 19, approximately 2000 people participated in a mass meeting against poverty and for social reform, held in Meiji Park in Tokyo. The event was lively throughout the day with music, a rally, stalls, subcommittee meetings and a parade. People in wheelchairs and the elderly were a visible presence, and the event was a space for the socially vulnerable to speak out directly. There were 12 subcommittees, but the Labour subcommittee, in particular, attracted many participants. The harsh reality of the workplace and the struggles inspired there were highlighted. Makoto Yuwasa powerfully declared that: “I’m sick of losing because of the small differences. Let’s go beyond these walls and find our peers on the other side. We can all take one step closer towards this goal. Let’s change society and we can change politics”. Participants, with their originally designed merchandise in hand, made their way to the demonstration in Shibuya.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News from the Scene in Seoul: Full-hearted Apology toward Harumoni (Nannies) Now! - Wednesday Demonstration Takes Place in Front of the Japanese Embas

 On October 15 (Wednesday) In front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, a regular Wednesday action took place for demanding the Japanese government to settle the issue of the sexual slavery facilitated by the Japanese Imperial Army. This rally is held on every Wednesday with latest one being the 835th. About 70 participants were not only from South Korea but also from overseas (the USA and Japan). The Japanese government has not reversed its stance that it will never make formal reparation as a state for victims of the sexual slavery. In recent years, the government has shown its very retrogressive attitude in that it has eliminated descriptions of so-called "military comfort women" from textbooks for public schools. Yun Mi Hyang, a joint representative of the he Council for the Solution of the Issue of the Volunteers Corps, emphasized, "Full-hearted apology toward harumoni is what I like to request to the Japanese government, the most." (Reporting: Masanori, Animation: UnionTube)

ソウル現地取材 : ハルモニに誠意ある謝罪を!日本大使館前水曜デモ

 10月15日(水)、韓国ソウルの日本大使館前で日本軍による軍隊「慰安婦」問題の解決を日本政府に要求する定期水曜デモが行なわれた。この集会は、毎週欠かさず水曜日に行なわれ、今回で835回を数える。集会には韓国内はもとより海外(アメリカ、日本など)からの参加者約70名が参加した。日本政府は、現在も軍隊慰安婦に対する国家としての正式な賠償は行なわないという態度をくずしていない。近年では、公立学校の教科書から軍隊「慰安婦」の記述を削除するという極めて後退した態度をとっている。韓国挺身隊問題対策協議会のユン・ミヒャン共同代表は、「日本政府に対して最も求めたいことは、ハルモ二に対する誠意ある謝罪だ」と強調した。(湯本雅典) 動画(UnionTube)

Block Extension of Fuel Supply Activity by SDF! -Article Nine Revision Blocking Association's Sit-in Goes on in Front of the Diet Building

 "Let's stop the SDF's fuel supply activity in the Indian Ocean." On October 14, the Article Nine Revision Blocking Association formed by the Zengakuren/Zenkyoto generation resumed sit-in protest in front of the Diet building (see photo). Forty members participate every day with appeals, "Put an end to the Aso administration that aims to make preemptive revision of Article 9" and "Democratic Party of Japan, don't use the bill for extending the new fuel supply law as a bargaining tool for Diet dissolution." In the House of Representatives, a session started for deliberation on the New Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law (New Law for MSDF Refuelin Activities in the Indian Ocean) on October 10, making the political situation tense as the law is to be sent to the House of Councilors after its adoption in a plenary session in the House of Representatives on 21st at the earliest. On 20th, citizen groups and labor unions will stage an emergency action in front of the Diet building. See homepages of the organizations involved.


 「自衛隊のインド洋給油活動をやめさせよう」と、全学連・全共闘世代の「9条改憲阻止の会」が、10月14日からふたたび国会前で座りこみを開始した(写真)。連日40名が参加し「9条改憲の先取りを狙う麻生内閣にとどめを刺そう」「民主党は“解散”の取引に給油新法延長法案を使うな」と訴えている。衆院では10日から新テロ対策特別措置法(インド洋派兵給油新法)の審議に入っており、21日にも衆院本会議採決で参院へ、という緊迫した状況になっている。20日には、市民団体・労働組合による国会前緊急行動が行われる。 当該HP

Meeting of Citizens and Diet Members for Radical Revision of the Temporary Staffing Services Law - Smashing Is the Only Solution for Proposition of th

Concerning the revision of the Temporary Staffing Services Law, the seedbed of the working poor, the Labor Policy Council made a proposition on September 24 to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In opposition to the proposition, citizens and some Diet members had a meeting on October 9 in an Upper House conference room. The room was more than full of 150 participants from labor unions and the media. In relay talks, Satoshi Kamata, Takao Saito, Makoto Yuasa and Karin Amamiya emphasized before anything else the need for a move to change the basic framework of the gap-widening society while revealing that the Labor Policy Council's proposition could never remedy the situation in any sense. In this meeting, there was also an appeal from a member of the newborn union of detached cabin attendants for Turkish Airlines concerning the actual state of the disguised contracting practices involved. In concluding remarks, Asami Nakano from the Dispatched Workers' Network said with anger, "Today's talks have made me convinced that the Labor Policy Council's proposition must be smashed, not protested."



A DVD entitled "Iraq Veterans Uprising" Completed - Appeal from Patricia

A DVD entitled "Iraq Veterans Uprising" has now been completed. Patricia McCann of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) actively staging anti-war actions around the US visited Japan this summer by invitation of Zenko (National Assembly for Peace and Democracy" She gave talks to young people describing her Iraq War experiences as well as specifically introducing energetic activities of IVAW across the inside and outside the military. Patricia gave insight into the reality behind the fact that actually 72% of US troops are against the occupation. She also talked about their diversified activities criticizing the military recruiting operations targeting poor families. Her visit was a valuable one as the first opportunity to introduce IVAW and their activities to the Japanese. Please make good use of this DVD "Iraq Veterans Uprising" containing Patricia's words in her own voice. Footage: 25 minutes. Priced at \3000. Contact: MABUI CINE COOP (e-mail address:


 DVD「立ち上がるイラク帰還兵」が完成しました。全米各地で活発な反戦行動を繰り広げている「戦争に反対するイラク帰還兵の会(IVAW)」のパトリシア・マッカーンさんがこの夏、全交の招きで来日。IVAWの軍内外をむすぶ精力的な活動を具体的に紹介すると共に、彼女のイラク戦争体験を若者たちに語りました。パトリシアさんは、米軍兵士の実に72%が占領に反対している実態を明らかにし、また貧困家庭を狙いうちにした軍のリクルート活動を批判する様々な取り組みをしていることを、伝えてくれました。IVAWとは何か、どんな活動をしているのかを初めて紹介する貴重な訪日でした。パトリシアさんの肉声を収録したDVD「立ち上がるイラク帰還兵」をぜひご活用下さい。25分・3000円。(マブイ・シネコープ) 問合せ先(メール )

4600 Attend National Youth Grand Rally - Giving Momentum to the Youth-based Anti-Poverty Campaign

On October 5, National Youth Grand Rally 2008 for Job for Decent and Humane Life was held in response to the call from the Metropolitan Youth Union and Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions) Youth Chapter among other organizations in Meiji Park, Tokyo, making a great success by attracting 4600 participants. Young workers gave talks from the podium, representing those struggling against disguised contracting by Panasonic Plasma Display Co., Ltd. (renamed from Matsushita Plasma), Nichia Corporation and Canon. The rally received solidarity speeches from Kazuyoshi Ikeda from Gaten-kei Rentai (Japan Construction and Transport Industry Workers Solidarity Union), Chie Matsumoto fighting against the disguised contracting by Herald Asahi, Makoto Yuasa from the Anti-Poverty Network, Karin Amamiya, an author, among others. A youth rally of this size is epoch making and the first one focused on the youth employment issue. The rally promised further surges of anti-poverty campaign driven by young people. Reporting: Makoto Kawazoe. See Metropolitan Youth Union HP and Animation (Kyoto Minpo).


首都圏青年ユニオンHP 動画(京都民報)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tour Conductors Protest at Tokyo Big Sight ~ Video Uploaded on Union Tube

On Sept. 21, National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu's Hankyu Travel Support Branch protested at the World Tourism Congress and Travel Fair held at Tokyo Big Sight (See photos).The video is uploaded on Union Tube. Despite the rain, more than 50 tour guides, members of other Tobu union branches and supporters joined the protest. They raised large banners reading, "We demand better working conditions for tour conductors!" in front of the main gate at the venue, as they shouted, "JATA doesn't understand tour conductors' feelings!" Tour guides on buses passing by cheered on and sent out encouragements. Video (Union Tube)



'We Must Protect Freedom of Expression' ~ Principal Dohi Openly Criticizes Tokyo Board of Education

Tokyo Mitaka High School Principal Nobuo Dohi (See photo) is demanding that Metropolitan Board of Education hold open discussion on its prohibition of voting on resolutions by hand-raising. Since the education board refuses to respond, Dohi expressed his true opinions at a gathering titled, "In demand for freedom of expression at schools," which was held in Tokyo on Sept. 27. As public interests in this issue are widespread, a few hundred attendees poured outside the venue with a capacity of 350 before the event opened. Dohi talked for more than an hour about how much the education board had suppressed expression at educational institutions. "School principals are treated like convenience store managers, and we are made to act like robots that obey orders from the top. This is making things worse for teachers and students: They are the victims. We must protect freedom of expression, which is the most important principle at schools, otherwise, you can no longer call them places of learning. That's why I stood up," he said. Applaud filled the hall. Following Dohi's speech, a panel discussion was held among Atsuchi Okamoto, Hidenori Fujimoto, Naoki Ogi, Tetsu Ishizaka and Hirofumi Nishihara. (By T. Yokoyama) See video (Union Tube) Related video clips (MX-TV)


 都立三鷹高校の土肥信雄校長(写真)は、職員会議の挙手・採決禁止を通知した都教委に反旗を翻して、公開討論を求めている。都教委がこれに応じないため、9月27日東京で開かれた「学校に言論の自由を求めて」の集会で、思いのたけを語った。この問題への関心は高く、350人の会場は開会前にあふれ、数百人が入場できなかった。土肥さんは約1時間にわたって、都教委が教育現場で言論を圧殺してきたことを生々しく語った。「校長はコンビニ店長扱いで、上意下達のロボットにされている。これで被害を受けるのは教員であり生徒だ。学校で一番大事な言論の自由がなくなったら終わり、だから立ち上がった」と訴えると、割れんばかりの拍手が起きた。また、岡本厚・藤田英典(ひでのり)・尾木直樹・石坂啓・西原博史(ひろふみ)の各氏によるパネルトークもあった。 (T・横山)・動画(UnionTube)

U.S. Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier George Washington Harbours at Yokosuka Port amid Protest

At 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 25, U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington made a port call at U.S. Navy's Yokosuka port. From 10:30 a.m., a welcoming reception is being held at the deck of the U.S. Seventh Fleet Blue Ridge parked next to George Washington with attendees from the United States and Japan. We do not welcome or absolutely can't allow the nuclear-powered vessel, which is to stay permanently at Yokosuka port. Workers and concerned citizens from a nationwide network to stop nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from porting at Yokosuka, an office at the demonstration front, peace forum, Kanagawa Peace Movement Center, Miura Peninsula district labor union have shouted angry slogans. Reported live from the demonstration front, see photo (Boat protesting against the aircraft carrier)

抗議の声の中 原子力空母ジョージ・ワシントンが横須賀に入港
 以下、現地闘争本部の速報。「原子力空母ジョージ・ワシントンは、9月25日午前9時30分、米海軍横須賀基地に入港しました。10時30分からは、ジョージ・ワシントンに横付けした第7艦隊旗艦・ブルーリッジの甲板で、日米の関係者を招いての歓迎レセプションが開催されています。私たちは米海軍による原子力空母の横須賀母港化を歓迎することはできないし、断じて許すことができません。原子力空母横須賀母港化を許さない全国連絡会・現地闘争本部・平和フォーラム・神奈川平和運動センター・三浦半島地区労などに結集する労働者や民主団体は、午前7時に横須賀市のうみかぜ公園に集まり、入港しようとするジョージ・ワシントンに対して、怒りのシュプレヒコールを叩きつけました」 現闘ニュース・写真(空母に抗議するボート)