Wednesday, January 4, 2023

JAL workers still fighting unfair dismissals from 2010




​​350 people gathered at the Bunkyo Ward Community Center in Tokyo on December 9th to show their support for 165 Japan Airlines (JAL) workers who were unfairly dismissed in 2010. The gathering included 32 of the unfairly dismissed employees who are still fighting to reach a fair settlement. On July 29th, two unions representing the workers, the Crew Members Union (Jouin Kumiai) and the Cabin Crew Union, accepted an offer from JAL to reinstate the workers as fixed-term contractors on a 2 year basis, which would leave the workers' jobs much more insecure than the permanent contracts on which they were employed at the time of their dismissal. At the gathering, the Executive Committee to Resolve the JAL Labor Dispute claimed that this offer is a way to increase the pool of precariously employed workers for JAL and to avoid having to comply with the more stringent labor protections that come with permanent employment. The JAL Dismissed Workers Union (officially abbreviated as JHU), another union representing the unfairly dismissed JAL workers, has also come out strongly against the 2-year contract offer from JAL, demanding that workers who wish to return to their jobs are allowed to do so and that all unfairly dismissed workers receive monetary compensation. 

The Chair of JHU, Hiroya Yamaguchi, stated that in 2010, JAL illegally dismissed workers based on their age and medical conditions, as well as dismissing workers for engaging in protected worker organizing activity. Yamaguchi also alleges that JAL's stated financial reasons for the dismissals do not hold up. And that JAL hired nearly 400 pilots and flight attendants soon after the dismissals in question.

In addition to the unions, 13 national elected politicians, lawyers, and researchers gave their support to the unfairly dismissed workers.

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