Tozen Union Wins Berlitz Pension Suit, but …

June 17th, 2016 1:25 PM
Tokyo District Court on Friday overturned Japan’s Pension Agency’s 2011 decision rejecting Tozen member Yancey Co’s appeal to enroll in Japan’s shakai hoken health and pension scheme.

Co’s employer Berlitz Japan had kicked him off shakai hoken in 2008, after his work hours apparently fell below 30 hours per week in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The 30-hour, or 3/4 of a full timer, threshold can be found nowhere in labor law but rather in the agency’s internal memo dated June 6, 1980.

The English language instructor from Vancouver, Canada, had asked the agency to force Berlitz to enroll him but through three appeals the agency ruled against him.

Undeterred, Co sued the agency in January 2012. “I wanted part-timers to have the right to enroll.”image

After four and a half years of litigation, Tozen Union sees the Friday victory as a partial victory only.

“We insisted that the memo has no legal force and should not be used to kick someone off shakai hoken,” said Louis Carlet, an executive of Tozen Union. “We were hoping the court would declare the memo illegal. Unfortunately the judge didn’t go that far.”

Tozen Attorney Shoichi Ibuski said, “This is one step forward and we hope to use this to go further still.”

(See video presentation below.)

English:

Japanese:

Teachers tread water in eikaiwa limbo

BY CRAIG CURRIE-ROBSON
Jan 22nd, 2014
Illustration  by  TIM O'BREE
Illustration by TIM O’BREE

Every year, thousands of young native English-speakers fly to Asia in search of an adventure, financed by working as English teachers. They come from Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Britain, Canada and elsewhere.

But it can be risky leaping into another country on the promise of an “easy” job. In Japan’s competitive English teaching market, foreign language instructors are treading water. “Subcontractor” teachers at corporate giant Gaba fight in the courts to be recognized as employees. Berlitz instructors become embroiled in a four-year industrial dispute, complete with strikes and legal action. Known locally as eikaiwa, “conversation schools” across the country have slashed benefits and reduced wages, forcing teachers to work longer hours, split-shifts and multiple jobs just to make ends meet.

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[日本語版]Japan College of Foreign Languages Once Again Interferes With Legal Union Activity. We will not back down! またもや正当な組合活動を妨害した日本外国語専門学校(JCFL) ~それでも、私たちはへこたれません!

今朝(2013年10月18日)東ゼンJCFL支部組合員、東ゼン組合員、支持者が日本外国語専門学校(以下JCFLと略)に私たちの組合を拡大するためにJCFLでビラ配りをしました。以下はその報告です。

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Japan College of Foreign Languages Once Again Interferes With Legal Union Activity. We will not back down! またもや正当な組合活動を妨害した日本外国語専門学校(JCFL) ~それでも、私たちはへこたれません!

This morning Tozen JCFL Local members, Tozen members, and supporters conducted a leafleting at JCFL in an effort to build our union there. Below is our report.

Leafleting Report

After gathering we walked together towards the school, put on our armbands, and got to leafleting. We began leafleting at 8:40. Several staffers immediately stood in front of the union members attempting to block them. The members kept their cool and persisted in leafleting, trying hard to get the leaflets to the students without touching the staffers. I tried to confront the staffers individually, informing them that this was a union action and they should not interfere. The staffers either ignored me or told me that they were outside to protect the students from cars, and that they are out there every day. Principal Iizuka said this several times as well. School staff, however, do not greet students in the street on a daily basis.

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スレイマン・ブルキッチ組合員は、もう「ICC Family」じゃないの?!

koushiboshu02a株式会社ICC(本社:横浜市)は、関東地域に6つのスクールをもつ語学学校です。スレイマン・ブルキッチ組合員は、20年間にわたり、ICCで英語とフランス語の講師として仕事をしてきました。ちょっぴり皮肉やさんながらとてもチャーミングな彼は、教え方にとても定評があり、生徒たちからの人気も抜群でした。彼はやりがいと情熱をもって20年間働いてきました。

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