Bic Camera hit for overtime nonpayment

“Bic Camera allegedly failed to pay overtime allowances totaling 127 million yen to some 110 employees at its outlets in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro and Shinjuku districts between December 2003 and last November. Failure to pay overtime is a violation of the Labor Standards Law.” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050226a9.htm

Workplace worries

Seven of us who teach at a university in Tokyo would like to start a labor union, but many of us are afraid the university will refuse to renew the contracts of members of the union next April. What should we do? http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20041221zg.htm

Right side of the law

I am an Assistant Language Teacher at a middle school outside of Tokyo. My employer is a large dispatch company, but I’m not sure if it has a dispatch license. My manager told me the company has a “gyomu-itaku” or “entrusted service contract” with the local school board. One thing confusing me is whether I … Read more

Foreign English teachers call for fair treatment

About 40 foreign English teachers urged the government Friday to take steps to eradicate the serious problems they face on the job, including low wages and sudden dismissal. Kazuo Inoue, one of the three DPJ lawmakers present, said Japan needs to immediately improve foreigners’ working conditions and protect their rights. Louis Carlet, a deputy secretary … Read more

Class action

What would you do if you were sacked for “clicking your pen too much in class,” or for “talking to yourself during your break” . . . or how about for “only eating the topping on your rice during lunch?” These are all actual reasons given for showing English teachers the door, says Louis Carlet, … Read more

Japan mulls multicultural dawn

Mr Nakatani is worried because Japanese are living longer, yet having fewer children. The result is a shrinking workforce which threatens economic growth. In recognition, the government is thinking of loosening its restrictive immigration policy. But any changes may come as a shock to a nation where registered foreigners make up just over 1% of … Read more

‘No sex please, you’re teachers’

According to the language school chain’s instructor contract, foreign employees are forbidden to “participate in any interaction with the clients of the employer outside the place of employment.” In theory, insist Nova instructors, they are under threat of the sack for so much as a chance encounter with any of the company’s 450,000 students. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20040601zg.htm

McEnglish for the masses

“The largest eikaiwa school has a staff turnover of 70 percent a year,” says Dennis Tesolat, vice-chair of the General Union, which represents hundreds of teachers in Japan. “They have guys whose job is it to go to the airports just to pick up new teachers. And that’s because the teachers have a grueling schedule … Read more