Bread & Roses: Needless Death of a Sri Lankan Detainee

 

SNA (Tokyo) — “Japan is safer than other countries; the Japanese are kind; the streets are clean; and it’s easy to live here.” I hear foreigners say these things. But I also hear it from Japanese who have never lived abroad. The mainstream media’s Nippon Sugoi! campaign is working, perhaps, but it’s not far off from the nation’s general reputation. But read on: The current reality may blow your image of my country to smithereens. Can such a thing be happening in Japan in 2021?

Read moreBread & Roses: Needless Death of a Sri Lankan Detainee

東京ウエストインターナショナルスクールでの抗議

東ゼン労組の新たな支部、TWIST (東京ウエストインターナショナル東ゼン)が2021年3月9日の午後、東京ウエストインターナショナルスクール(以下「TWIS」)前で抗議行動を行いました。八王子にあるTWISの講師たちは、組合員に対する不当解雇に対して抗議をするべく集まった。2021年1月末、組合員たちは膨大な未払い残業代、まとまった休憩時間や休憩場所が確保されていないこと、有給休暇が少ないこと、職場における一般的なサポートや整頓の欠如などの問題に受け、学校側に対し支部結成通知を行った。

初の団体交渉を行った直後の2月19日、TWISは組合員を解雇した。

「私たちは、学校側に要求事項を説明し、素晴らしい団交が行えました。」組合員の一人はこう述べる。
「私たちは経営側に私たちの問題を正直に打ち明け、学校側は私たちに耳を傾けているように思えました。私たちは学校側と共に協力し、労働環境を改善してゆけることを望んでいました。ですが、学校側は私たちが組合を結成したことにより組合員たちを解雇し、私たちは失望しています。組合側は学校に対し解雇撤回に対する締切を3月8日と通知しましたが、学校は解雇撤回を拒否しました。私たちは、この現状を他の人たちにも知ってもらいたいです。有能な講師たちが正当な理由もなく解雇されており、今直面している解雇問題をこれから先も同じことが起こらないよう防ぎたいです。」

TWISTの組合員たちはストライキと抗議活動を行い、TWISが組合に対して何をしているのか、どうして組合が抗議をしているのかを説明するべくビラ配りを行った。ビラには東ゼン労組のウェブサイトのリンク(tokyogeneralunion.org)とTwitterページが書かれている。抗議行動の最中、TWISTの執行委員長であるテイラー・ヒーリーが拡声器を使いこう述べた。
「TWISは、組合員に対して非道徳的で不当な行為をしました。TWISの管理者たちは組合潰しをしようとしています。このような不当な行為はやめさせなければなりません。組合員たちを復職させてください。私たち講師を救いましょう!」
抗議活動の前や最中、経営側は組合員たちに対しストライキとビラ配りを中止するように言い、生徒たちを組合員から遠ざけた。

組合員たちは多くの保護者、非組合員の従業員、生徒たちから協力的な反応や言葉を貰った。TWIST支部は、組合員講師たちに対する不正を世に伝えられたことや多くの励みのメッセージを受け感銘を受けているが、組合員たちはこの問題は長期戦になることを予測している。

抗議活動後、TWISは保護者に対し、「学校は何事にも誠実に対応をしており、今後も諸々な課題に関して真摯に向き合い、解決していく所存です。」というメールを送った。
TWISは現在においても、組合からの団体交渉申し入れを先延ばししており、要求事項に対する文書での回答すら付与していない。抗議の翌日、TWISの経営側は全従業員に対しメールを送ったが、その内容は明らかに抗議活動に参加していない従業員に向けたものであった。そのメールは、講師たちに感謝の意を込めてタピオカティーを無料で配るというものであった。
東京ウエストインターナショナルスクールは、職を失い路頭に迷う講師たちの問題を、タピオカティーで解決できると思っているのだろうか。
組合側は、東京ウエストインターナショナルスクールに対し、今すぐ組合員たちの解雇を撤回し、組合と交渉することを求めている。

TWIST支部の要求事項や詳細はこちら:https://tokyogeneralunion.org/twist/

Protest Held at Tokyo West International School

A new Tozen Union local called TWIST (Tokyo West International School Tozen) held a protest on the afternoon of Tuesday March 9 at Tokyo West International School. Teachers at this Hachioji, Tokyo school gathered to protest the recent unfair dismissals of union members. They had declared their new union in late January of 2021, because many worked overtime without pay, lacked breaks, had fewer days of paid leave, and faced a general lack of support and disorganization in the workplace.

The union had just one collective bargaining session with management before the school decided to dismiss several members on February 19. 

“We had a great meeting with management explaining our demands,” one member said. “We were open, honest and thought management had listened to our concerns. We wanted to work together to improve our work environment. Now we feel disappointed that many of our members were dismissed in retaliation for forming a union. Management rejected our pleas to reverse the dismissals before the March 8th deadline we set. We want to make others aware of the situation. Talented teachers are being dismissed without cause, and we want to prevent that from happening now and in the future.” 

TWIST members struck during the protest and handed out flyers explaining what the school is doing and why the union is protesting. The flyer also included a link to the Tozen Union website (tokyogeneralunion.org) and Twitter page handle. During the action, TWIST Executive President Taylor Healy shouted through a megaphone: “TWIS has taken unethical and unjust action against union members. TWIS admin are attempting to union bust. This misconduct must be stopped. Reinstate union members. Save our teachers!” Before and during the protest, management asked union members to stop striking and leafleting, and redirected students away from members. 

Parents approached union members, expressed their support in the movement and wished them luck. Teachers received many supportive messages from non-union staff members at the school as well as from students and parents. TWIST union is glad to see the message of injustice against teachers coming across and to receive so much encouragement. However, members see a long fight ahead of them. 

 

After the protest, parents received an email from management stating, “We firmly believe that our school has been taking sincere actions, and we continue to work to peacefully resolve any concerned matters.” Management is stonewalling on holding collective bargaining with the union, and we have yet to receive a written response to demands. The day after the protest, management sent an email to all staff members of the school, apparently directed at staff who did not protest. The message offered teachers free tapioca tea in appreciation. There is no amount of tea they can offer that will make up for the unfair dismissals. Reinstate our members. Negotiate with the union.

For more details on TWIST union demands; follow this link: https://tokyogeneralunion.org/twist/

Bread & Roses: Osaka Court Overturns Welfare Cut

SNA (Tokyo) — A Japanese court overturned a welfare reduction for the first time ever on February 22, 2021. The Osaka District Court ruled against the government’s 2013 public assistance reduction of ¥67 billion (US$632 million), marking the first court win for the Inochi no Toride litigation campaign, involving more than 1,000 plaintiffs in 29 prefectures around Japan.

Attorney Tetsuro Kokubo, deputy head of the defense team, said, “This is the first time in my long career as a lawyer that I cried when I heard the verdict.” The comment poignantly conveys the challenges of fighting state power.

Read moreBread & Roses: Osaka Court Overturns Welfare Cut

ALC Press Workers Unionize

Employees of publisher and language training company ALC Press Inc. unionized last June after management pressured them to switch to part-time zero-hour contracts with no social benefits. 

Since May 2020, ALC placed employees on required furlough on certain days each month, paying them reduced wages as per Article 26 of the Labor Standards Act. Although the publisher continues to operate business as usual, it has targeted workers in its domestic language and other departments who had refused to downgrade their working conditions, including switching to non-fixed, zero-hour contracts. 

“I’m working exactly the same hours as I was in 2019, if not more, but management are still deducting my salary,” said one long-serving employee.

Required leave has been in effect since May 2020 and there is no foreseeable end. Management has also begun to refuse to renew certain fixed-term contracts.

ALC employees, some of whom served the company for over 25 years are, in their words, “shocked, disgusted, disturbed, and saddened” by what they once considered a family company. A union was formed in Tozen Union to stop to what they believe to be illegal forced furloughs. In some cases, certain employees have lost close to 1 million yen from their salaries since the forced furloughs began.

Zenkoku Ippan Tokyo General Union ALC Union (全国一般東京ゼネラルユニオンALC 支部) was established with just three members in June 2020 but has since more than quintupled in less than six months. Management do not have the interests of their employees at heart and only care about making a big, fat profit, even at the cost of financially devastating their workers, many of whom have young families and mortgages and are desperately struggling to make ends meet.

The company management has changed ownership and management several times over the past few years.

ALC’s website states,
“ALC bring out the best in each employee, regardless of gender, age, or experience. We also endeavor to create an environment that makes it easy for everyone to work and continue working at each career stage. ALC also promotes the careers of its female employees.” 

It’s time to hold ALC to its pledge.

We, ALC Union, appeal to all ALC employees who feel isolated, worried and concerned to get in touch with us – regardless of your contract, experience, position/job or nationality. This union is for everyone. Our goal is solidarity and to unite all ALC employees to ‘continue working at each career stage’ without the fear of management taking away our livelihoods and driving us out of the company.

If ALC’s new management do not agree or at least compromise with union demands, industrial action may have to take place. 

To all ALC employees: We encourage you to get in touch with us before it is too late for you. Contact ALC Union case officer Gerome Rothman at tozen.rothman@gmail.com 

違法の指摘にたいし「報復」か? シェーン英会話学校が講師を解雇 Shane Dismisses Leading Labour Union Organisers

English is after Japanese.
英文は日本語の下。
元々 Yahoo News掲載.
English translation originally posted on Shingetsu News Agency.

Read more違法の指摘にたいし「報復」か? シェーン英会話学校が講師を解雇 Shane Dismisses Leading Labour Union Organisers

Tozen Daigaku: YUKI MUKI! 東ゼン大学 有期・無期

Tozen Daigaku – Yukimuki and Job Security in Japan

Fixed-term or temporary employment is called yuki-koyo (有期雇用); while open-ended or permanent employment is called muki-koyo (無期雇用).

Tozen organizer Louis Carlet will explore the legal and practical angles of these two types of employment; their implications for job security; the relevant case law; and how we should fight for job security.

東ゼン大学 ー 有期・無期と雇用の安定
東ゼン労組の専従オルグルイス・カーレットが、雇用の安定との関係性、判例、そして私達は安定した雇用を手に入れるために何ができるのか、これら2つの雇用形態の法律と実用面について講義します。

Emergency Tozen Daigaku Unemployment During the Pandemic 緊急東ゼン大学 コロナ禍の失業保険制度

【緊急東ゼン大学】
12月6日、コロナ禍の失業保険制度についての講義を、YouTube配信します。
質問タイムもあるので、コメント欄で質問お待ちしております。

On 6th December, we are holding a lecture on Unemployment During the Pandemic via YouTube livestream. We will be holding a Q&A after the lecture, so please ask us questions in the comments.

Tozen Daigaku Equal Employment Opportunity Act 東ゼン大学 均等法

11月の東ゼン大学は、均等法についてです。
講師には、加藤桂子弁護士にお越しいただきます。
2020年11月15日(日)14:00〜YouTubeライブ配信します。
コメント欄にて質問も受け付けますので、ぜひご視聴ください!

Atty Keiko Kato will lecture on Equal Employment Opportunity Act Tozen Daigaku (YouTube livestream). We’ll take questions after the lecture, so ask us in the comments section.