Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Miyako Masuda Claims Judge Incompetent For the Unjust Ruling in Dismissal Trial

Junior high school teacher Miyako Masuda was dismissed for teaching the truth of "invasion". In an attempt to reverse the dismissal, she took the Board of Education to court. On June 11th, however, the Tokyo District Court Judge Hiroshi Watanabe dismissed the plaintiff’s claims and unfairly ruled against her. The ruling was blindly based on the arguments made by the Metropolitan Board of Education. On this day, some 80 supporters turned out - a number that nearly double the visitor’s gallery capacity. When the unfair ruling was announced, there was an instant outcry from the supporters. Ms. Masuda resolutely said "I can’t accept this ruling. Despite the Metropolitan Board of Education being unable to prove that I was an incompetent teacher, the courts will not reverse the dismissal. I can only assume that the judge himself is the incompetent. This has made my resolve to continue fighting even stronger". Written by M. Link to video on UnionTube. Photo: Masuda is on left.

 「侵略」の真実を教えたことを理由にクビになった中学教師・増田都子さんが「分限免職処分取消」を求めた裁判で、6月11日午後、東京地裁・渡邊弘裁判長は、原告の主張を全てしりぞける「不当判決」を下した。判決は、都教委の言い分を丸のみしたもの。この日、傍聴席の2倍をこえる支援者約80名が集まった。「不当判決」の報が伝えられると裁判所前では、抗議の声が一斉に上がった。増田さんは「信じられない判決。都教委は裁判で私が不適格教員だと証明できなかったにもかかわらず。これは裁判官こそが不適格だということ。断固としてたたかう」ときっぱり語った。(M)・動画(UnionTube) *写真=左が増田さん

We Don't Need New Piracy Law! Stop the Permanent SDF Overseas Deployment Law!

200 Demonstrate Outside Diet Building during Lunch Break The government is trying to use the Somalia piracy measure as an excuse to pass a law allowing the government permanent legal authority to dispatch armed SDF overseas. Moreover, they are trying to use this as a way to implement changes to the Constitution by activating the Constitution Review Board. On June 9, some 200 demonstrators gathered outside the Diet to protest against the changes. The organiser, Ken Takada, warned participants in the opening speech of impending crisis and railed against the changes: “Prime Minister Aso claims that we need to start a war to defend ourselves against North Korea. We live in times where the PM can openly say something that flies in the face of Article 9. His solution is to solve international conflict through war. The thought of it makes me sick.” Both the government and opposition parties are aiming to adopt the New Piracy Law after the regular session at the House of Councillors and commence the Constitution Review Board at the regular session of the lower house. This week and next week will be the big turning point of this law, and the 5/3 Constitution Assembly Committee will call out to participants to attend the Committee and to continue participating in actions. Click link for video on UnionTube.

 政府は、ソマリア沖の海賊対処を口実に自衛隊の海外での武器使用の恒久化を狙い、さらには、憲法審査会を始動させる事で憲法改悪の実行過程に踏みこもうとしている。6月9日昼、これに反対する国会デモが行われ、200人が集まった。主催者挨拶で高田健さんは「麻生首相は、北朝鮮に対して戦争で対抗する、と言い出した。“戦争で国際問題を解決する”という9条に真っ向から反することを首相が公然と言い出す時代になったことに、腹の底から怒りを感じる」と危機感をあらわにした。政府・与党は、「海賊対処新法」を19日の参院本会議で、憲法審査会の始動を11日の衆院本会議で採決強行を狙っている。今週・来週が最も大きな山場であり、5・3憲法集会実行委員会は、委員会傍聴と引き続く行動への参加を呼びかけている。 ・動画(UnionTube)

Demonstrating Against Miyako Island's Authoritarian Corporate Culture: The Island's Second Ever Demonstration in History

In Okinawa's Miyako Island there still exits a culture of the company president being like a god and workers being his or her slaves. There is no culture where workers can “talk” with management. The only private company where a trade union operates is the Miyako Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper. On June 4, more than 100 unionists and supporters marched through the streets to raise awareness of the island as whole on the importance increasing unions to advocate for workers rights, and to protest against the ongoing unfair actions taken by the Miyako Mainichi Shimbun Newspaper (see photo). This is only the second time ever in the island's history that workers have demonstrated for their rights. The demonstration was followed in the evening by a Symposium to Consider the Rights of Workers in Miyako Island in which other unions also participated. (Written by Chie Matsumoto)


Five Non-regular Canon Workers File a Legal Battle to Become Regular Workers

On June 3, five non-regular Canon workers filed a lawsuit against Canon Inc. at the Tokyo District Court in a bid to become recognised as regular employees at the company (see photo). From 2000 onwards, the company has kept changing the employment status of these employees from subcontracts to temporary contracts, and then fixed-term contracts. Despite the employees receiving instructions from hiring the dispatching company, they were doing the same kind of work as permanent employees. One of the plaintiffs Mr. Oono thought that ordinarily he should have been made permanent and wondered why his hirer was different from his other workmates. It made him feel contradictory and strange about the situation. Even though his feelings were mixed about his situation - unclear as to whether to feel sad or angry - he decided to continue to fight until his status as a permanent employee is recognised. (Written by Chie Matsumoto) Photo taken by Tsutomu Yoshioka.

 キヤノン非正規労働者組合宇都宮支部メンバー5名は6月3日、正社員としての地位確認を求め、東京地方裁判所にてキヤノン株式会社を提訴した(写真)。2000年から被告は、原告らの契約を請負労働者から派遣へ、そして請負からさらに期間従業員として、二転三転させてきた。しかしその中で原告ら5名は、正社員と区別のない働き方をし、指揮命令も派遣先会社(キヤノン)から受けている業務形態だった。原告の大野氏は、毎朝キヤノンに出社する何百人という同僚を横目に、「自分も従業員であるはずなのに、なぜ働く先が違うのか」という「矛盾と変な感覚」を覚えるという。「怒りか悲しさなのかわからない」複雑な気持ちを抱えながら、それでも「正社員の資格を勝ち取るまで闘い続ける」と決意を新たにした。(松元千枝) 写真(吉岡力)

Let’s Meet the Car Company’s Presidents. Holding Them Accountable for Cutting Workers

On June 2, some 50 workers, victims of their dispatching and fixed-term contracts early-termination, and their supporters participated in the Let’s Meet the Car Company’s Presidents Tour. The tour started with such energy that participants managed to burst into the front desk of Mitsubishi Fuso’s head office in Kawasaki (see photo). Afterward, the tour went on to visit the five major car companies including Isuzu, Nissan, and Toyota. At each company, protesters held companies accountable for unreasonably getting rid of non-regular workers, and demanded that the disputes be resolved. Shuto Seinen Union Secretary General Kawaze received live coverage from Hiro Matsumoto, a former member of satirical comed group called Newspaper. The Secretary General said that “These companies have laid workers off, driven them out of their dorms, and left workers by the wayside with no explanation whatsoever”. The companies have continued to reject the union’s requests for collective bargaining. Tour participants included JIMU and Hino Motors Union among others. (Written by Chie Matsumoto). (photos taken by Kenichi Kita).

 6月2日、約50名ほどの派遣・期間工切りの被害にあった労働者と組合関係者が参加する「自動車会社の社長さんに会いたいツアー」は、川崎の三菱ふそう本社受付まで強行突破する勢いで幕をあけた(写真)。バスツアー一行はその後、いすゞ・日産・トヨタなど、大手自動車会社5社をめぐった。各社で非正規労働者をモノのように使い捨ててきた責任をせまり、争議解決を求めた。元コント・ニュースペーパーの松元ヒロ氏の実況中継を介し、首都圏青年ユニオンの河添誠書記長は「人を切り、寮からも追い出して路頭に迷わせておきながら、説明もしないのか」と、団交拒否し続ける会社に対して、話し合いに応じるよう要求した。ツアー参加は、他にJMIUと日野自動車ユニオン。(松元千枝) *撮影=北健一

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nerima Ward Sanitation and Recycle Staff Establishes Labor Union -- Full-time and Non-regular Workers Join Hands

On May 15, sanitation and recycle officers of Tokyo's Nerima Ward established a union. The members had collected garbage and recycleable resources as temporary and dispatch workers until March last year. Although the wardoffice gave them direct employment contract in April lastyear, the contract was good only three years. To win stable employment and sufficient pay, they formed a union. Direct employment and union establishment were realized with full support from full-time employees union, Tokyo Sanitation Workers' Union Nerima Branch. This effort shows that the solidarity between full-time employees and non-regular workers can open the new door to the union movement. (By S)



150 Gather for 'Let Us Live! Nagoya Rally' -- Across Unions and Nationalities

On May 25, about 150 workers of different nationalities and from various unions handed demands to each related companies and gathered for a protest between 2 p.m. and 5p.m. at Toyota Building in Midland Square in front of Nagoya Station. After the protest, they marched around the station from Nishiyanagi Park (See photo). The action was carried out by Union Mie, Nagoya Fureai Union, JMIU Aichi Branch, Sasanichiro (Sasajima Day Laborers' Union), General UnionTokai Branch, Josei Union Nagoya, Managers' Union Tokai Branch, Aichi Rentai Union. (By Aichi Rentai Union)



Senryu that Resisted War -- Discussion At Movie 'Tsuru Akira' Preview

On May 20, the first seminar on Working Poor Senryu was held at Tokyo's MediR. About 30 people gathered to fill the venue with high interests in critiquing and a preview of a movie "Tsuru Akira: Tracing his Thoughts" (Directedby Seijiro Koyama; screening to begin in July). The movie illustrates a life of Tsuru Akira, who led the Proletariat senryu movement during the war. It also introduces a number of senryu poems depicting people suffering from poverty and unemployment and workers' lives during the war of aggression. Many participants said that the life of Tsuru Akira during the oppression was impressive and they were touched, and that they wanted more people to watch the movie because the situation is similar to the current recession. Younger audiences said they wanted to see the vulnerable side of Tsuru Akira though they were impressed with his honest lifestyle. (ByM) Photo from critiquing session led by Rankiryu.


 5月20日、東京・メディアールの「ワーキングプア川柳」講座第一回が開催された。映画「鶴彬ーこころの軌跡」(神山征二郎監督・7月公開)の試写と合評ということで関心は高く、会場満杯の30人が集まった。映画は、戦時下にプロレタリア川柳運動を起こした鶴彬(つるあきら)の生涯を描いたもので、貧困・失業にあえいでいた民衆・労働者の生活や、侵略戦争の本質を詠んだ句が随所に紹介されている。上映後の合評では、「あの弾圧の時代の中で鶴彬の生き方はすごい。胸打たれた。いまの経済不況の時代にも繋がるもので、多くの人に観てほしい」という声が多かった。若い人からは「まっすぐな生き方はよかったが、鶴彬の弱い面など違った側面も見たかった」との意見もあり、様々な角度から議論が続いた。(M) *写真=乱鬼龍氏の司会で合評会

It's Phony to Summarize Lawsuit in Three Days! -- Protest Against Lay Judge System Before Enactment

About 300 people gathered to protest Japan's lay judge system in the evening of May 20, the day before the system was enacted. The rally held at Tokyo's Hibiya Park proceeded to a march around town involving workers on the way home and unionists who raised colorful banners and panels reading, "We will not allow lay judge system." NHKconducted a nationwide survey this month, which showed 75percent of the people surveyed were concerned about participating in a lawsuit because of heavy responsibility and a lack of confidence in making the right judgment. Demonstrators yelled, "You can't draw a verdict in three days! It's phony if a lawsuit is summarized in three days"and "We will not approve of prison sentence or fine if lay judges leak information to others." (By Y)



Say Yes! to Diverse Sexuality -- Appeal at Symposium and Streets Across Japan

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, when people in more than 50 nations take action of Idaho (acronym for International Day Against Homophobia). "Homophobia" means irrational fear of or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals. The day symbolizes when homosexuality was delisted from World Health Organization's list of mentally ill (May 17, 1990). InJapan, a network "Yappa Ai (Love) daho! Idaho-net" was established in 2007 and has carried out a march "Say Yes! to Diverse Sexuality" every year since. Symposiums and lectures as well as exhibitions are also held on this day across the nation. More than 10 related events were held this year. (By Ichihanahana)


 毎年5月17日は「国際反ホモフォビアの日」。世界の約50カ国で、Idaho(アイダホ。International Day Against Homophobiaの頭文字)のアクションが実施されている。「ホモフォビア」とは、同性愛に対する差別的・嫌悪的な考え方のこと。5月17日は、WHOの「精神疾患のリスト」から、「同性愛」の文字が消えた日である(1990年5月17日)。日本では2007年に「やっぱ愛ダホ!Idaho-net」というネットワークが立ち上がり、毎年5月17日にあわせて街頭で「多様な性にYes!」のアピールを行ってきた。関連イベントとして、シンポジウムや講演会、メッセージ展も企画されている。今年は全国10数箇所で関連アクションが行われた。(壱花花)