Tozen Daigaku Japan’s Corona Aid Programs 東ゼン大学 コロナ助成金事業


On Sunday May 24 at 2pm, we are hosting our next Tozen Daigaku.  In this edition, we will  go over  Japan’s corona aid and visa programs, with a Q&A following the talk. Check it out on YouTube livestream!

Tozen Union Virtual May Day 東ゼン労組電脳メーデー






Against the backdrop of this nightmarish pandemic, many workers in nonessential industries face an awful dilemma – commute to work, and risk their own and the public health, or stay at home with no or far less income. As a union, we must call for the resolution of both crises, protecting health and income.

On Friday, May 1, 2020, beginning 2pm, we will hold the world’s first virtual street protest. Tozen Union will fight for two pillars for workers – corona containment and income security. Don’t ask workers to stay at home without ensuring they can pay rent and other bills. We must have both and have them now.

What the heck is a “virtual street protest”? At ordinary street protests, we raise the Tozen Union flag, wear armbands, pass out a leaflet with demands, make speeches and a series of shprehicall chants. We state our demands to the public and call out management. Tozen Union Virtual Mayday will do all that over the teleconferencing platform Zoom.

Tozen Union Virtual May Day’s overall theme is that governments and employers must take care of workers, meaning fully pay those in non-essential industries to stay or work at home and guarantee extra hazard pay to heroic essential workers on the frontlines of the war against the virus.

Workers of the world, unite in cyberspace!


東ゼンコロナホットライン Tozen Corona Hotline


We have set up a Tozen Corona Hotline for those who face work issues related to the spread of this epidemic/pandemic. Contact the hotline below. 


Tozen Corona Hotline for Labour Issues: 050-5532-4405
(Call between 12 noon and 8pm.)





Tozen Corona Hotline for Labour Issues: 050-5532-4405
(Call between 12 noon and 8pm.)
東ゼン労組代表メール General Tozen Union email:

Corona crisis & the law : コロナ危機関係の労働法

***Tozen Corona Hotline for Labour Consultations: 050-5532-4405***

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting broad swathes of our society. Many may face problems at the workplace. 


Keep the following labor law principles in mind regarding work furloughs ordered by your employer. 


1.  If your boss orders you to stay home without a legitimate, unavoidable reason, then in principle she must pay your full wages. 

① まず前提として、使用者が正当な理由がないのに出勤停止を命じた場合、原則として賃金の全額を支払う義務があります。

2.  Article 26 of the Labor Standards Act stipulates that “In the event of an absence from work for reasons attributable to the employer, the employer shall pay an allowance (kyugo te-ate) equal to at least 60% of the worker’s average wage to each worker concerned during the period of absence from work.” If you tell your boss you don’t feel well and she orders you to take off, then you can claim the 60%. If you teach language and your school orders you to stay home as the virus reduces student numbers, you could claim the kyugo te-ate.

You are ineligible, however, if you choose to take time off. Such absence would be treated as ordinary sick days, unpaid unless stipulated in your contract or shugyo kisoku work rules. The employer bears no responsibility if the local government orders residents to stay home from work or in the event of a natural disaster.

② 労働基準法26条は「使用者の責に帰すべき事由」があれば、会社が休業期間中の休業手当(平均賃金の60%以上)を支払うよう定めています。従業員が体調不良を申告したとき、会社が「大事を取って休んでほしい」と指示する場合は、労働者は休業手当を受け取ることができます。また、たとえば、外出の自粛で英会話の生徒が減るなどして、会社から「しばらく出勤しなくていい」と言われた場合も、勤務先の都合で休職を指示されたということなので、休業手当の対象になります。


3.  You can take ordinary annual paid leave (nenji yukyu kyuka) if ineligible for the kyugo te-ate. If you are enrolled in the Shakai Hoken health and pension scheme, you can get an accident/sickness allowance (shobyo te-ate kin) beginning your fourth day off. That allowance is equivalent to two-thirds of your average salary.③ 休業手当が出ない場合、有給休暇を取得することができます。また、社会保険(健康保険)に加入していれば、4日以降休みが続けば、傷病手当金(平均標準報酬日額の3分の2)の対象になる可能性があります。

4. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on February 29 announced an aid program for parents who lose wages due to corona-related school closings. Whether the aid will pass through corporations or go directly to workers remains unclear. I will update you as soon we get more information.

④ なお、安倍晋三首相は、2月29日に記者会見で、子どものために休職する保護者の所得減少を補償する助成金制度の新設を表明しましたが、詳細はまだ明らかになっていません。労働者に直接支払われるのか、企業に支払われるのかも明らかではありません。詳細が分かり次第、お伝えします。

 5. It’s a bit trickier for those  working on gyomu itaku services provider contracts and for those working on zero-hour contracts (with no monthly guarantee). If you work on gyomu itaku, then you have no protections under labor law except union rights. On zero-hour contracts, though, you can claim the above kyugyo te-ate if your schedule is pretty much set or determined in advance. If you have questions, let’s have a consultation.

⑤ 業務委託契約または時間給雇用契約で働いている皆様は、状況が少し複雑になります。業務委託契約で働いている労働者は、労働組合法を除いた如何なる労働法規に定められている保護事項が適用されません。時間給の雇用契約は、月額保障がありませんが、スケジュールが前もって決まっている場合は、上記の休業手当などが適用されますので、利用できるはずです。

⑥ さいごに、皆様もよくご存知だと思いますが、法律上の権利があるからすべてうまくいくというわけではありません。その権利を実効化するには、みなさんの団結と行動が必要です。国籍・性別・年齢・雇用形態を問わず、業務委託で働いている人も含め、全ての労働者は、組合を組織化する権利はあります。

Legal rights alone won’t protect you. Organize your workplace now. All workers have the right to unionize regardless of nationality. This includes people on gyomu itaku contracts. 

⑦ 何か不明なことや心配なことがあれば、どんなことでもまずは東ゼン労組に連絡してご相談ください。

Contact me or Tozen Union organizers if you have any questions or concerns.

◆連絡先 Contacts

執行委員長 Executive President Hifumi Okunuki (

財政部長 CFO Louis Carlet (

組織拡大担当 Field Director Gerome Rothman (

専従オルグ Organizer Gaetan Moreau (

専従オルグOrganizer Adam Cleeve (

東ゼン労組代表メール General Tozen Union email:
Telephone: 050-5532-4405






Bread & Roses: Workers of the World! Unite and Stay Home!

SNA (Tokyo) — May Day came into this world on May 1, 1886, with a general strike to win “eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for what you will.” Three days later, workers gathered in Haymarket Square, Chicago, and clashed with cops sent in to shut them down. At least four civilians and seven officers died. Four workers were later sentenced to death for conspiracy to riot, despite not a shred of evidence. May Day spread beyond the borders of the United States to Europe and elsewhere. Today, we see the eight-hour workday as a social norm, albeit observed more in the breech. But workers shed blood and tears to bequeath this right to us. We should devote one day a year to recognizing those heroes’ achievement and sacrifice.

Read more

Uber Eats Survey ウーバーイーツアンケート

Tozen Union is conducting a survey of Uber Eats delivery workers. Respondents may remain anonymous. Please click the link below and participate. Also, please feel free to share this with your fellow Uber Eats deliver workers!

東ゼン労組では、現在Uber Eatsの配達員として働く人たちのアンケートを行っています。匿名でも回答できるので、是非下記のリンクからご協力をお願いします。もし知り合いなどにUber Eatsで働いている方がいれば、是非シェアしてください。

Tozen Daigaku Shakai Hoken Health and Pension Scheme 東ゼン大学 社会保険と年金制度

We will give a lecture on Shakai Hoken Health and Pension Scheme.


Date: 2020 May 17 (Sun) 14:00 – 16:00
Speaker: Louis Carlet
Livestream link:

2020年5月17日(日)14:00 – 16:00


Tozen Daigaku Corona and Labour Law 東ゼン大学 コロナと労働法

2020年4月19日(日) コロナ関連の労働問題と労働法について、ルイス・カーレットが解説します。

April 19th 2020, Tozen Union Senior Organiser Louis Carlet will lecture on the Corona-related issues and laws.

詳細は下記をご覧ください。Please check below for the detail.



Tozen Union ALTs win WFH in Sagamihara

[2020.4.12] Assistant language teachers (ALTs) in Sagamihara City will work from home beginning Monday 13th April rather than Tuesday 14th, dispatcher Interac KK told Tozen Union. 

The ALT dispatch giant had planned to send Tozen members to school this week, even though the city had already suspended classes. The union demanded its members work from home instead, to help fight the virus and slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During 11th hour virtual negotiations, Interac management agreed to have the teachers work from home beginning Tuesday, after commuting to the workplace one time only on Monday. 

The union welcomed the concession but insisted the ALTs work from home on Monday too. “We are concerned not just for the health and safety of our members, but also anyone they could come into contact during the commute,” said Tozen Senior Organizer Gerome Rothman. Interac agreed to talk to Sagamihara about the demand and later told the school board the ALTs will stay at home.

 “We appreciate Interac management’s attention to the health and safety of its employees,” Rothman said. Tozen Union demands all employers help fight the virus by paying employees full salary to work from home. 

Sagamihara City is a 40-minute train ride from Shinjuku in central Tokyo.
To join our union and the fight-the-virus campaign, contact Case Officer Gerome Rothman at  

Bread & Roses: Worker Rights in the Age of Coronavirus

SNA (Tokyo) — Last Friday, the Covid-19 global pandemic passed the horrifying milestone of one million infections and 50,000 fatalities worldwide. There have, as of this writing, been 4,592 confirmed cases and 106 deaths in Japan. Graphs of new cases and deaths trace the left half of steep parabolas as the world’s nations fail to flatten the curve. The global catastrophe and its grim toll traps workers between the closing jaws of infection risk and dire economic straits. As US commentator Krystal Ball noted, “the working class has been shoved into the front lines of this crisis.”

Read more