Thursday, May 28, 2009

Change destructive Worker Dispatch Law fundamentally now! Appeal of1,000 echoes at unusually cold night

 On May 14, 2009, about a thousand people participated in a rally held atHibiya Open-air Music Hall in central Tokyo for demanding the WorkerDispatch Law be fundamentally changed. All opposition parties have begunjoining their hands to “ban registration for dispatch” and a jointbill for it is in sight. Representatives from the Democratic Party ofJapan, the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Partydelivered encouraging messages to the participants. Kamata Satoshi, oneof the facilitators, appealed, “A sharply increasing number of youthskilled themselves according to the 2008 statistics on suicide releasedtoday. Are we satisfied with such a society that people are in aprecarious life-and-death circumstance and lose hope? We have no choicebut to change such a situation”. In addition, speeches of courageoustemporary workers at Oita Canon and other companies were welcomed withapplause. Then, the participants marched to the Parliament for makingthe petition at the unusually cold night.



“Make karoshi obsolete” ? Karoshi problem of contract restaurantmanager solve

 With regards to a case of Maesawa Takayuki, 32 years old as of October18, 2007 when he died, the contract manager of a family restaurant“Skylark Kurihashi” who worked himself to death from overwork causedby a brain hemorrhage, the management of the restaurant chain, a tradeunion (National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu) and his bereavedfamily (Maesawa Emiko, his mother) reached an agreement for thesettlement on May 13, 2009. It was a total victory for the union and thebereaved with five points, which consist of the management’s “deepapology, preventative measures, notification of the case to theemployees, payment of damages, and settlement of unpaid overtime”.Takayuki’s mother and sister looked nervous when they attended a pressconference at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on the same day.His mother Emiko (right in the photo) simply said, “I have lived so myson’s death will not be wasted. I hope the word karoshi becomesobsolete”. The settlement was groundbreaking as the damages (amountundisclosed) were based on the calculation for a full-time employee. (M)The image of the press conference (UnionTube)


 2007年10月18日に「すかいらーく栗橋店」の契約店長だった前澤隆之さん(当時32歳)が、脳内出血で「過労死」した事件で、5月13日、会社と組合(東京東部労組)・遺族(母の前澤笑美子さん)との間で合意が成立し解決した。内容は、会社が「深く謝罪。再発防止策を行う。社員に事件を周知させる。損害賠償を支払う。サービス残業を精算する」などの5点で、組合・遺族側の全面勝利だった。この日、厚労省で記者会見が行われたが、遺族の母と妹の表情は固かった。笑美子さん(写真右)は「息子の心をわが心にして生きてきた。過労死が死語になることを望む」と言葉すくなに語った。損害賠償(金額非公表)については、算定基準を正社員並みにさせるなど画期的内容だった。(M) ・記者会見動画(UnionTube)

700 Audience at “Anneoung Haisai Exciting Concert” linking Japan,Korea and Okinawa

About 700 people came to “Anneoung Haisai Exciting Concert” held atUeno Mizukami Open-air Music Hall in Tokyo on May 2, 2009. There wereexciting Japanese, Korean, Okinawan and Filipino songs and dances from 3PM to 7:30 PM. The last performers were members of a group of singers “Kottaji, Songs of Hope”, which was formed during the pro-democracymovement in South Korea in 1987. Lee Taesu, one of the members, said, “People in Japan and South Korea are facing very similar problems ? anincrease in non-regular workers and United States military bases. I hopethis concert will be a good opportunity for us to build our hope”, andsang “People Are More Beautiful than Flowers” and “A Dream of a Song”.All the performers came onto the stage at the finale and sang “Like a Rock” together. (M)


 5月2日、東京・上野水上音楽堂で「あんにょんハイサイわくわくコンサート」が開催され、約700人が集まった。午後3時から7時半まで、ノリのいい日本・韓国・沖縄・フィリピンの歌や踊りがつづいた。最後に登壇したのは、1987年の韓国民主化運動のなかで生まれた「希望の歌 コッタジ」。メンバーの歌手イ・テスさんは「日韓の民衆の置かれている状況はよく似ている。それは、非正規労働者の増大と米軍基地の問題だ。このコンサートが希望をつむぐ時間になればいい」と語り、「人は花より美しい」「歌の夢」などを熱唱した。フィナーレ(写真)では、全出演者が登壇し「岩のように」を合唱した。(M)

Fast Food Union Established! Takano-san, who won lawsuit againstMcDonald’s, becomes leader

 On May Day, the Fast Food Union was formed at the office of the JapanCommunity Union Federation (JCUF) in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. The leader isTakano Hiroshi (center of the photo), who won the “only-in-the-namemanager” lawsuit against McDonald’s in March 2009. He expressed hisdetermination at the establishment meeting, “This victory is notsupposed to be only for me. I would like people having the same problemto learn from my case effectively”. Further, Mr. Takano was eager tocommit himself to union activities, saying, “A trade union supported me.Now it is my turn to assist whoever needs help”. On the same day, theJCUF also negotiated with the headquarters of McDonald’s Japan in themorning under the slogan “May Day for Equal Treatment”. (Ito Atsushi)Reported in JCUF webpage 


 5月1日メーデー、ファストフード・ユニオンが全国ユニオン事務所(新宿区)にて結成されました。組合の委員長は、3月にマクドナルドの「名ばかり管理職」訴訟で勝利した高野廣志さん(写真中央)。結成集会では「この勝利を、自分ひとりのものにしてはいけない。同じ境遇にある人たちへ、自分を有効活用してほしい」と就任の決意を述べました。さらに自身の闘いをふりかえりながら「ユニオンが私をサポートしてくれました。これからは自分もお役に立ちたい」と、組合活動への熱意を示しました。当日、全国ユニオンは「均等待遇メーデー」と銘打ち、朝からマクドナルド本社への申し入れ行動なども行いました。(伊藤敦) 報告・全国ユニオンHP

12,000 Gather at May Day rally at Hibiya ? Appeal by workers in struggle against firing and discrimination

The“Hibiya May Day”rally, hosted by Zenrokyo National Trade UnionCouncil, was held at Hibiya Open-air Music Hall at 10 AM of May Day inthe clear sunny sky. 12,000 participants from various trade unions, suchas Kokuro (National Railworkers Union), Tokyo Sanitation Workers’ Union,Tokyo Metropolitan Municipal Workers’ Unions, Tosuiro Tokyo WaterWorkers’ Union, Yusei (Postal) Union and other small and medium unions,filled the venue. Fukushima Mizuho, the leader of the Social DemocraticParty, disclosed that the party would back up Ikeda Ikkei in the comingHouse of Representatives election, who is a member of Gatenkei Rentai(Blue-collar Workers’ Solidarity) Union and an ex-dispatched worker. Atthe meeting, workers who struggled against dismissal or discriminationspoke one after another. A Japanese Brazilian (photo) strongly appealed, “We are humans, not replaceable resources”. In addition, Kottaji, agroup of singers from South Korea, specially performed two songs,“Spells” and “Fight Back”. The participants were divided into twodemonstration courses at 11 AM.Image (UnionTube)


 快晴の5月1日午前10時、全労協などが主催する「日比谷メーデー」が、東京・日比谷野音で開催された。国労・東京清掃・区職労・東水労・郵政ユニオン・民間中小など12000人の参加者で会場があふれた。福島みずほ社民党党首は来賓の挨拶で、次期衆院選で池田一慶さん(ガテン系連帯・元派遣労働者)を擁立することを明らかにした。集会は、首切りや差別とたたかう労働者が次々に発言。日系ブラジル労働者(写真)は、「私たちは人間だ。企業の調整弁ではない」と強く訴えた。また、来日中の韓国のコッタジが特別出演し「呪文」「反撃」の2曲を披露した。11時すぎ、参加者は2つのコースに分かれてデモに出発した。 ・動画(UnionTube)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oita Cannon Industrial Dispute Settlement: “It Was Right to Fight!”

Oita Cannon Branch of Nikken Sougyo Union held a press conference on April 27th announcing that the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare would report settlement for the industrial dispute. The dispute reached settlement after Oita Cannon was held responsible and made to pay compensation to approximately 700 Nikken Sougyo contractors. The compensation amounts to a total of some 200 million yen covering their average wage during the employment contract period, payment for unpaid holidays, and support for living expenses, amongst other things. Oita Cannon must cover half of this amount and the labour hire agency must pay the other half. Union branch leader Kato expressed, “We were able to settle because we didn’t take it lying down. I’m glad that we continued fighting even though I initially had doubts”. Reported by Tokachi Tsuchiya. *Photo: Demonstration at Canon General Shareholders Meeting (source: Gatenkeirentai Blog)


 4月27日、日研総業ユニオン大分キヤノン分会は厚生労働省にて闘争解決を報告する記者会見を行った。大分キヤノンが一定の責任を負うかたちで、解雇された日研総業の請負社員約700人に雇用補償を約束。闘いが解決したと報告した。補償内容は雇用契約残期間の平均賃金、有給休暇の買い上げ、生活支援金など総額約2億円。半分を大分キヤノンが負担するという。加藤分会長は、「勇気を出して声を上げたことで、解決できた。組合は最初信じられなかったが続けて良かった」と発言した。(土屋トカチ)*写真=3/27キヤノン株主総会行動 ・ガテン系連帯ブログ

Toshihide Maskawa Lecture: “Education that Gives Inspiration and Romance”

Nobel prize-winning physicist Toshihide Maskawa gave a lecture on “Education and Freedom” at the Education Assembly in Tokyo on April 25th (see photo). Maskawa impressed the audience with the following remark:“Education is not about memorizing the name of laws or discoverers. Education is about highlighting the background to these events. Tests consisting of choosing multiple choice answers degrade the ability to think scientifically. While I believe that exams are necessary, the purpose of education should not be to pass exams. The exam system should be simplified and reduced to a bare minimum. Science would be interesting - even inspiring and romantic - if you ask the question of why something was discovered. The current education system strips all life from science by simply pursuing the results. Left in this way, students feel alienated from education. We need education that can give inspiration and romance.” Reported by Johnny H.


 4月25日の教育集会(東京・九段会館)で、ノーベル物理学賞の益川敏英さん(写真)が「教育と自由」と題して講演した。「教育は、法則の名前、発見者の名前を記憶させることではない。その背景にあることを教えなければならない。テストで( )にイ、ロなどと入れることではない。それは“科学疎外”をよりひどくする。試験は必要悪だと思うが、試験は目的ではない。試験制度を簡単にし、最小限に軽減しなければならない。どうして発見したか?などを知れば科学は面白い。<憧れ><ロマン>も生じる。それをそぎ落として結果だけを求める。これでは“教育疎外”が起きる。<憧れ><ロマン>が生じるような教育をしなければならない」と語り、観客を惹きつけた。 報告(ジョニーH)

Landmark Victory in Labour Dispute Against Toyota: 75% Wage Rise Guaranteed

Toyota factory workers in the north of France were striking from April 6th. From April 16th until April 20th, the factory was closed for the first since the opening of the plant. Workers demanded that they be paid 100 % of their wages during temporary factory closures due to reduced manufacturing. They were being offered 60% of wages before the strike. In response to various pressures put on against the labour movement through the Toyota-management style, strikes at Toyota France intensified to the extent of cutting off production line. This is a significant development. The factory was reopened on April 20th, when management made major concessions to the union’s demands such as workers receiving 75% of their wages during temporary closures, paying the withheld wages during the strike, and not penalising union. In disputes against Toyota, this victory is a landmark. Photo of Toyota France on strike (Report written by Takahata Yuuki, “A window into Paris 2”.


 4月6日からストが始まったフランス北部のトヨタの工場では、16日の晩から20日まで開業以来初の工場封鎖が行われた。製造減少に伴う一時的休業の際、60%ではなく100%の賃金を払えという要求だ。トヨタ式経営をフランスにもちこみ、労働運動に対してさまざまな圧力をかけてきたフランスのトヨタで、生産ラインを断ち切るほどのストが起きたことは注目に値する。そして20日、一時的休業の賃金75%を延べ払いにする、スト時の賃金カットも分散化する、組合員を罰しないなど、指導陣が組合側の要求にかなり歩み寄ったために工場の封鎖は解かれた。トヨタ相手の労働争議としては画期的な勝利と言えるかもしれない。 *写真=スト中のフランストヨタ (飛幡祐規・パリの窓から2

“We Won Through the Strength of Solidarity”: Report Back On Isuzu Non-Regular Workers Opposing Dismissal

Some 100 supporters gathered to participate in the Meeting to Oppose Sacking of Isuzu Non-regular Workers jointly held by Isuzu Automobiles branch of All Japan Shipbuilding and Engineering Union (SEU) and Shounan Union at the Fujisawa Industrial Centre on the evening of April 18th. Although the 33 contract and labour hire workers who made up the union could not get the company to reverse the dismissals, they managed to get the company to withdraw terminating workers who were midway their contract and win a settlement package favoured by members. Participants were pleased that the dispute was settled due to the unity and support of the likes of the Kanto branch of SEU, Kanagawa, and Tokyo Metropolitan unions. At the end of the meeting, each of the speakers voiced their thanks and said that “We couldn’t have done it on our own, but we won through the strength of solidarity”.



Jeco Union Decides Round Two of Strikes Against Terminating Fixed-term Contracts

 Following the first lot of strikes in March 24, JAM Kanagawa Jeco Trade Union (Chairperson Nobuyoshi Takeda) struck for the second time on April 17. Toyota-related car parts maker Jeco have frozen new hire from autumn last year and started making layoffs. By September this year, Jeco is trying to terminate 92 employees on fixed-term contracts. The union has demanded to be able to collectively bargain for the fixed-term employees at Gyouda city, where they work, but the company has unreasonably rejected this. Workers struck at 16:30 on April 17 and entered the Gyouda factory through a side gate. After passing through the main gates, they made their way to the administrative building of head office. Workers ran up the stairs (see photo) and advanced into the second floor lobby (Report written by Kenichi Kita) *Photo provided by Jeco Union. For more detail see the Jeco Trade Union’s website.


 4月17日、JAM神奈川ジェコー労働組合(武田信義委員長)が、3月24日に続く第2派のストライキを行いました。トヨタ系の自動車部品メーカー「ジェコー」は、昨秋から雇い止めと称する解雇を開始。今年9月までに92名の期間従業員全員を切ろうとしています。それに対し組合は、期間従業員を交えた団体交渉を、彼らが働いている行田市で行うことを要求していますが、会社は合理的理由を示さないままこれを拒否してきました。17日午後4時半、ストに立った組合員らは行田工場の通用門から構内に入り、正門前を経て本社管理棟へ。階段を駆け上がり(写真)、2階ロビーに進みました。(北健一)  *写真=ジェコー労組提供 ・ジェコー労組HP