Saturday, July 31, 2010

Now Workers at a Honda Component Plant in China Go on a Strike - Never Tolerate the Intimidation with Dismissals!

As the strike at a factory supplying parts for Honda Motor Co. has ended, a new strike has begun at a Chinese factory of Atsumitech (in Hamamatsu), a component manufacturer 48% of whose capital is funded by Honda (see the photo). The following is a call from the striking factory. "We started a strike on July 12. A lot of workers are joining the sit-ins inside or outside the factory. They sought assistance from the employment department and the government's department concerned when the Japanese party would not respond to the request for talks. However, this attempt did not bring about any solution. Thus, the workers have decided to call for support via the Internet. The most disgusting thing is that the company has announced a planned discharge of all 90 or more workers that have joined the strike. They are pressing the workers to cancel the employment contract in the afternoon on July 14 and leave the corporate dormitory. Protect the rights of workers! Our struggle is going on!" (By our International Division) Photo: By the courtesy of a China-based local website.

ホンダ部品工場でのストライキが収まったなか、今度は、ホンダが48%出資する部品メーカー・アツミテック(浜松市)の中国工場でストライキが起きている(写真)。以下、現地からの呼びかけ。「ストライキは7月12日から始まりました。多くの労働者が工場内外で座り込んでいます。労働者は日本側が誠実に交渉に応じず、労働部門、政府部門に支援を求めたがらちが明かなかったことから、インターネットを通じて支援を求めることにしました。もっとも腹立たしいことは、会社がストライキに参加した作業員90人以上をみんな解雇するなどと言っている事です! 労働契約を解除するという恫喝もおこなっています! 7月14日の午後に労働契約を解除して、会社の寮からでていくよう労働者に強制しています。労働者の利益を守れ! 闘争継続中!」(国際部)  *写真=現地ウェブサイトより

Part-time Employees Go on a Strike for the First Time - To Condemn Unilateral Factory Closure and Dismissal

At 13:00, July 14, in protest against a unilateral factory closure, eleven part-time workers went on a strike at Seven's Cleaner, a laundry factory based in the city of Misato, Saitama Prefecture. With 90 out of about 100 at Misato Factory being part-time workers, the company has been making profits through their hard work by imposing low wages at around \700 per hour. Nevertheless, the company has unilaterally decided to shut down the factory at the end of September with the excuse of "loss-making operations", virtually urging the workers to leave the company. The part-time workers have joined the National Union of General Workers, Tokyo Tobu, and went on a strike that day for the first time in their life. Though feeling shy at first, saying, "This is the first time I wear a fighting sash around my head since I wore one at a school athletic meeting," the workers erupted in rage when facing the company management that would not respond at all. A number of supporters also came, creating a liberated zone in front of the factory. (By M) Video: UnionTube

 7月14日13時から、埼玉県三郷市にあるクリーニング工場「セブンズ・クリーナー」で、パート労働者11名が一方的工場閉鎖に反対して、ストライキを決行した。約100人の三郷工場のうち90人はパートで、時給約700円の低賃金とハードな労働で会社は利益を上げてきた。それを、会社は「赤字経営」を口実に9月末の工場閉鎖を一方的に決定し、事実上の退職を迫っている。パート労働者は東部労組に加盟し、この日生まれて初めてのストライキ。「ハチマキは運動会以来初めて」とはにかんでいた労働者たちも、何ひとつ答えぬ会社幹部を前に怒りを爆発させた。支援も多数駆けつけ、工場前は解放空間となった。(M) ・動画(UnionTube)

Emiko Teranishi (see the photo) Wins the Fourth Nakajima Tomio Prize from the Ryu Foundation for No More Karoshi

The foundation has selected Emiko Teranishi (see the photo) as the winner for this year of the prize granted by the Ryu Foundation for No More Karoshi (death due to overworking). In 1996, Ms. Teranishi's husband, then aged 49, committed suicide in his agony from overworking as the shop manager of an eating and drinking house Sobadokoro Takasho. It claimed five years for her to go through a struggle for having his death recognized as occupational disaster, followed by additional five and a half years for a civil case against the company, resulting in ten and a half years of her fight for bringing about a solution. After this, Ms. Teranishi has been active as the representative of the National Association of Bereaved Families for Examining Karoshi. In March 2009, she submitted a request for administrative document disclosure to the Osaka Labour Bureau, requesting names of companies responsible for karoshi cases to be publicized. The Labour Bureau, however, refused to publicize such company names on the ground that personal information be protected. In November of the same year, she went to the Osaka District Court for action against the government, requesting cancellation of the ruling for nondisclosure. In the award ceremony on August 1, there will be a talk by Ms. Teranishi as well as a memorial speech by Kenji Utsunomiya, representing the Anti-Poverty Network. (By Suda)


A Strike at Suzuka Sakura Hospital, Mie Prefecture, Wins Night Work Allowance Increase

The union of the Suzuka Sakura Hospital located in the city of Suzuka, Mie Prefecture、 went on a strike at 16:30, July 5, for allowance increases (see the photo). The hospital management agreed to meet the union's demand at 17:00 that day, that is, 30 minutes after the strike had started, based upon which the union ended the strike immediately. During the strike, managerial personnel pitched in, avoiding direct impact on patients. The strike was staged by the Suzuka Sakura Hospital Branch of Union Mie (an affiliate of the Japan Community Union Federation which is affiliated to Rengo). Out of about 140 personnel at the Suzuka Sakura Hospital including nurses, clerical workers and meal cooks, 116 workers have joined the union, and the chairperson of the executive board of the Union Mie, Itaru Shioda, chairs the branch. (By Toru Sakai)


Theatrical Screening of "Hiroshima and Pyongyang", Quiet Communicator of Anger of A-bomb Survivor in North Korea

Hiroshima bomb survivor
On July 3, a documentary movie "Hiroshima and Pyongyan" was screened at Polepole Higashinakano, Tokyo, featuring Lee Kye-son, a Hiroshima bomb survivor, living in the city of Pyongyan, North Korea. This movie quietly depicts the anger of an atomic bomb survivor living in North Korea as no remedy comes at the mercy of political circumstances involving North Korea-Japan relations. It also documents the daily life in North Korea in details. Director Takashi Ito, a journalist having visited North Korea 24 times, offers images that nobody else could have shot. In his talk after the screening, he presented some inside stories about material collecting and editing, with Atsushi Kobayashi and Tokachi Tsuchiya in charge of editing also participating. Mr. Ito reflected, "To collect what I collected, I had to make strenuous effort in the face of tough restraints on material gathering. It was really difficult to shorten the 100-hour material into a 90-minute film." The film will be screened at Polepole Higashinakano in the morning show up to July 30, and also showing will be carried out around the country. (By M) In the photo, from left: Atsushi Kobayashi, Takashi Ito and Tokachi Tsuchiya

 7月3日、東京・ポレポレ東中野で北朝鮮在住のヒロシマ被爆者・李桂先(リゲソン)さんを描いたドキュメンタリー映画「ヒロシマ・ピョンヤン」が公開された。映画は日朝関係の政治に振り回され、救済されない在朝被爆者の怒りを静かに描いている。また、北朝鮮の日常生活を細部にわたってドキュメント。訪朝24回のジャーナリスト・伊藤孝司監督だからこそ撮れた映像といえる。上映後のトークでは、編集を担当した小林アツシ・土屋トカチの両氏を交え、取材や編集の裏話を披露した。伊藤さんは「取材制約の中で粘ってやっと撮れた。100時間の素材を90分にするのが本当に大変だった」と振り返った。ポレポレ東中野で30日までモーニングショー、全国でも公開される。(M)  *写真左から=小林アツシ・伊藤孝司・土屋トカチの各氏

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black stripes harassing the working poor Shift to digital broadcast full of doubts

Analogue TV broadcast will stop in July 2011, when digital terrestrial broadcast starts. From July 5 this year, a black stripe with a message urging viewers to buy digital terrestrial broadcast TV set will appear on TV screens for viewers watching analogue broadcast. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is promoting digital terrestrial broadcast as a state policy, but its intention is not quite clear to us. There are also difficulties such as delay in the spread of reception equipments and eliminating hard to view areas. But there is no criticism to the shift in the mass media, because TV broadcasting companies are promoting the shift to digital broadcast. So the working poor people are the most unlucky. Why do they have to buy a new TV set; why there is no alternative; why do they have to watch harassing black stripes? This shift to digital broadcast is full of doubts.
See a cartoon by Ichihanahan

 来年7月の地上デジタル放送化を前に、7月5日からアナログ受信している人に対して、「地デジ」促進のための黒帯表示が始まる。テレビの上下に黒帯が入り、そこに「早く地デジにしろ」という趣旨のメッセージが入る。地デジ化は国策として総務省が推進しているが、その理由はいまひとつはっきりしない。また、難視聴地域対策や受信設備などのインフラ整備が間に合わないことなど、問題山積である。しかし、テレビ業界も推進しているため、メディアからの批判が出てこない。とにかく、一番困るのはワープア層。お金がないのに、なぜテレビを買い換えなくてはいけないのか。なぜ選択肢がないのか。なぜ黒帯の嫌がらせを受けなくてはならないのか。疑問だらけの「国策・地デジ化」である。(M) ・漫画(壱花花)

Victorious settlement for Sauna Oujou Union Autonomous operation ends.

Sauna Oujou suddenly closed down in November 2009 and the union have run the sauna autonomously for half a year. The union’s struggle ended with a settlement at the Tokyo District Court on June 17. In the settlement the company retracted the dismissal and the union agreed to an amicable retirement for company reasons and the company agreed to pay a settlement payment to the union. The sauna closed finally at 10 am. June 26. The seven union members gathered for the closure toappreciate their hardships. Union members said “It was worth fighting. We got a victorious settlement, but it’s sad to lose the job I love” “I was backwards-looking at the start. But I became positive as the struggle went on”. A reporting meeting will be held at the Sohyo Hall on July 23. (By Ryuta Kuisako)
See Union Tube
Photo: Sauna Oujou Union members on the closing day

昨年11月に突然閉鎖通告があり、半年にわたり自主営業闘争を続けてきたサウナ王城ユニオンのたたかいが、6月17日、東京地裁で和解が成立し解決した。?和解内容は(1)会社は解雇の意思表示を撤回し、会社都合により円満退職したことを確認する(2)会社は解決金を支払う、などというもの。6月26日午前10時をもって営業終了となった。ユニオンメンバー7人は閉店に合わせて全員が集まり、労をねぎらった。メンバー達は、「たたかってよかった。勝利的和解だが好きな仕事を失うのは残念」「最初は腰が引けていたが、運動の中で前向きになった」と語っていた。7月23日には、総評会館で「サウナ王城自主営業闘争解決報告集会」が開催される。(杭迫隆太)・動画(UnionTube) *写真=最後の営業が終わって記念撮影する王城ユニオン(6/26)

North Korean School students raise voice of anger: ‘No to discrimination’ Mobilizing 1000 citizens

“No to discrimination against North Korean Schools. Don’t exclude North Korean Schools from free tuition program for high school” Citizens’ Action was held at Shiba Park, Tokyo on June 27. 1000 citizens attended the action and more than 140 organizations, more than double the number for the previous action, signed the endorsement for the action.
350 students from North Korean Schools attended the action. The president of the students’ association of Tokyo Korean Secondary Schools reported that students’ association from 10 high schools nationwide had formed a liaison committee to run a signature campaign for applying free tuition to Korean Schools. The vice-president of the students’ association said, “Our grief has turned into determination to win”. The action is steadily expanding. Let’s get concrete results from the action. (By Masanori Yumoto)
See Union Tube

6月27日、東京・芝公園で「朝鮮学校差別を許さない!『高校無償化』即時適用を求める市民行動」が開催され、1000人が結集した。この集会に向けた賛同は、前回の集会の2倍を上回る140以上の団体から寄せられた。集会には、350人の朝鮮学校生徒が結集した。朝鮮学校の生徒たちは全国の朝鮮高校10校を束ねた「連絡会」を作り、無償化即時適用を求める署名運動を展開しているということが、東京朝鮮中高級学校の生徒会長から報告された。また、同校生徒会副委員長からは、「悲しみは、勝ちたいという決意になった」という発言があった。運動は確実に継続・拡大している。これを、ぜひとも成果に結びつけていきたい。(湯本雅典) ・動画(UnionTube)

Why newly hired teacher had to kill herself? Report of Yuriko Kimura’s case

The tenth trial of the late Yuriko Kimura’s case seeking compensation from the Local Government Employees’ Accident Compensation Fund was held at the Shizuoka Local Court (Civil Affairs Second Department, Presiding Judge Tsutomu Yamaguchi) on June 24. More than 30 supporters attended the trial as observers. Kimura was newly hired as a teacher at an elementary school in Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture in April 2004 and committed suicide in September the same year. Causes for her suicide were difficulties in managing her class, lack of support from the management to new teachers and power-harassment which aggravated the dire situation. Kimura left a diary illustrating the situation minutely. (By Masanori Yumoto)
See Union Tube
Photo: Kimura’s parent at the reporting meeting

新規採用されたばかりで自殺した静岡県磐田市立小学校教員、故木村百合子さん(享年24歳)の公務災害の認定を求める第10回公判が、6月24日、静岡地裁(民事第2部・山口勉裁判長)で開かれ、傍聴席が埋まる30人以上の支援者が集まった。木村百合子さんは、2004年新人の年の9月に自らの命を絶った。その背景には、クラス運営の難しい状況、新人教師に対する管理職の支援の無さと過酷な状況を後押しするかのようなパワハラがあった。その時の様子を木村さんは自らの日記に克明に書き残している。(湯本雅典) ・動画(UnionTube) *写真=木村百合子さんの両親(報告集会)

“Dismissal means killing workers” says Korean Ssangyong Motors worker Lee Yeong-ho

Lee Yeong-ho , who fought the 77 days strike against the mass dismissal at Ssangyong Motors in the summer 2009, visited Japan and attended a solidarity meeting held in Shibuya, Tokyo on June 20. A documentary film featuring the Ssangyong struggle “You and my war” was shown at the meeting. Lee expressed his determination to fight on. “During the strike we occupied the factory and the company stopped water and gas supply. When workers got sick, we couldn’t get a doctor or have medicine brought in. The mass media blamed the workers. But, it was a matter oflife and death to fight restructuring dismissal. We had to use slingshots to counter the violence of the police and the company. Dismissal means killing workers! Right now, we are suppressed severely, but we will finally win and go back to work in the factory,”The film “You and my war” will be shown at the Labor Film Festival 2010 on July 24.
Photo: Lee with a banner saying “Dismissal means killing workers”

「解雇は殺人だ!」~韓国 双龍自動車労働者イ・ヨンホさん語る
2009年夏、大量の整理解雇に反対して77日間の「玉砕ストライキ」を行った双龍自動車労組のイ・ヨンホさんが来日し、6月20日、東京・渋谷で、映画「あなたと私の戦争」上映と連帯の集いがあった。ヨンホさんは「工場籠城ストライキ中は、水もガスも止められた。病人が発生しても医者も薬も止められた。マスコミは労働者を叩いた。整理解雇と闘うことは命がけだった。会社・警察の暴力に対抗するため、パチンコ投石器なども使ったがそれほど切実だった。解雇は殺人だ! いまは弾圧され厳しい状況だが、必ず闘って工場に戻る」と決意を語った。映画「あなたと私の戦争」は「双龍スト」の全貌を伝えるもので、7月24日の「レイバー映画祭2010」でも上映される。(M) ・*写真=「解雇は殺人だ」のバナーを持つヨンホさん(右)

Friday, July 2, 2010

If Beat Takeshi isn't an employee, neither are you

Aichi Labour Commission Probes RADIO i Unfair Labour

FM RADIO i (Aichi International Broadcasting) claimed that
it had "no contractual relationship" with a disc jockey,
who is a member of Aichi Solidarity Union, and said he was
outsourced by a dispatch agency, Culture Club.

After choosing the union member at an audition, the radio
station referred him to Culture Club. He was told that
Culture Club would act as his 'agent' and would pay for
his appearance on the radio. The agency also said it would
deduct 5% from his pay for managing his work schedule.

The member's live broadcasts for RADIO i were closely
supervised and monitored by the station’s producers. The
station was not to give him any direct instruction on the
job unless it drew contract with him.

The lawyer representing RADIO i claimed "Beat Takeshi and
Tamori are not employees (they are independent), so
neither is he." However, a RADIO i DJ is not as well-known
as Beat Takeshi or Tamori. The station regularly posts
recruiting ads for 'bilingual and trilingual DJs' on its
web site.

The union member's work was scheduled within a month after
the audition. He was hired through a process no different
from that of any other employee.

The Japanese law gurantees workers' rights, but many
companies often try to evade responsibilities by not
drawing direct employment contract with workers and
relying on outsourcing agencies.

Aichi Solidarity Union will also be looking into what
responsibility Culture Club has in this dispute.