Tozen Union Blast Past 200 Members with 20 Local Chapters

Saturday afternoon Tozen Union drove through an important milestone, 200 members with the approval of seven new members. This is about twice the number of members at the time of founding on April 25, 2010.  The Tozen executive also authorized the formation of two new local unions, bringing the number of local chapters to a nice round 20.

Tozen are pushing forward on several fronts, with major disputes at Gaba, Shane and JCFL. The labour union currently have five cases in the dock at Tokyo Labor Commission, including two against JCFL and one against Shibaura Institute of Technology, which may be settled soon.  

Other fights are brewing. 



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In Japan, adultery can cost you your job as well as your marriage

Fūkibinran. Now that is a Japanese expression you don’t see around much these days. I bet many young Japanese readers don’t even know how to read the four kanji that make up this word: 風紀紊乱.

It means something akin to “an affront to public morality,” “a breakdown in customary discipline” or, perhaps, “compromising love relations.” But there are simpler and more direct ways to render this expression in English — how about “adultery,” “cheating” or “having multiple partners”?

Read more


Legal change will make temp purgatory permanent for many Japanese workers

Eight years ago, a TV drama about temporary workers generated a great deal of excitement around Japan. In “Haken no Hinkaku” (“Dignity of a Temp”), model-actress-singer Ryoko Shinohara played Haruko Omae, a “super-temp” who masterfully tackled the myriad troubles that arose in her ¥3,000-an-hour job. Unshakable, aloof and playing by her own rules, she performed better than any of the regular employees, refused all overtime and off-the-clock socialization, and shunned flattery and fake smiles to boot.

Unfortunately, the drama did not reflect reality. In real life, critics said, such a temp worker (haken shain) would have been fired on the spot, and regardless of skill level, temp workers tend to be seen as outsiders and are treated worse than regular workers.

On Wednesday, recent revisions to the Worker Dispatch Law go into effect. There was chaotic debate in the Diet over this bill, just as there was with the security bills, but in the end the ruling coalition dealt with it in the same way as it has other unpopular measures: by pushing it through with their majority in both chambers.

Let’s look at the details of the changes.

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Should SEALDs student activists worry about not getting hired?

Summer 2015 — 70 years since Japan’s defeat in World War II. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling coalition have rammed two security bills through the Lower House that overturn decades of interpretation of the Constitution by enabling Japan to engage in collective self-defense. Now he hopes to do the same in the Upper House.

Read more


本日、9月3日は「くみあい」(=組合)の日Today is Labor Union Day!

みなさん、知っていますか。今日9月3日は、「くみ(9・3)あい」の日です。Today is Labor Union Day! Did you know that?

労働組合は、団結がすべてです。そして、団結の根っこには「愛」がなければいけません。Solidarity is everything for a union. There must be love at the root of solidarity.

どんな職種でも、どんな立場でも、どんな人種や国籍でも、労働者は、手を携えて、仲間のために団結しなければいけません。Regardless of industry, job type, race or nationality, each worker must have solidarity with coworkers. 

「万国の労働者よ、団結しようぴょん!」と東ゼン労組の団結うさぎも言っています。Tozen Solidarity Bunny says, “Workers of the world, unite!”