Tozen Senior Organiser, Louis Carlet gives us a bare-bones basics look at some of Japanese Trade Union Law, with a focus on Articles 7 and 8.
A poem by Hifumi Okunuki.
(English is below the Japanese.)
Tokyo Labor Relations Commission began hearings on Monday, May 24 against Tokyo West International School. On April 1, 2021, Tozen Union and its local TWIST had filed a petition claiming that the school targeted the union in an attempt to weaken or destroy it, including unfair dismissals of three union teachers.
Union members expressed excitement to get the proceedings under way but were bewildered at claims made in the school’s defense brief that they had never before heard.
Tozen Union member sues French School in Tokyo.
(Scroll down for English)
Le 9 mai 2021, Amjid Alam, membre du syndicat Tozen, a engagé des poursuites contre le Lycée Français International de Tokyo, une école gérée par l’AEFE, au motif de non paiement de salaire d’environ 1 million de yens.
Wednesday, May 26, the Tokyo Labor Relations Commission ordered Oberlin University to hold collective bargaining with Tozen Union. Oberlin University had refused negotiations since October 2019, demanding the union exclude rank and file members. The university had also insisted on bargaining in Japanese even though the day to day language of labor relations at the workplace is English.
The union demanded collective bargaining after Oberlin University announced it would outsource classes to a private contractor, threatening the job and income security of our members. Oberlin claimed the outsourcing was not a legitimate topic for union negotiations, a claim firmly rejected by the commission.
As a labour union we fight for workers’ rights, and worker safety. And the Tokyo Olympics has had numerous counts of worker deaths and injuries, and workers have reported a “culture of fear” that discouraged them from making complaints about working conditions.
Another major reason that we do not support the Olympics is that the world is currently in the midst of a global pandemic. Corona cases in Japan have been constantly rising and dropping, and with no large-scale vaccination in sight, going ahead with the olympics would be an unnecessary risk to all.
Other reasons that we oppose the Tokyo Olympics are:
- Financial costs
- Loss of homes
- Reports of corruption and bribery
- The militarisation of the police
- Unsafe temperatures.
Tozen, and our President Okunuki Hifumi, have been mentioned in the following article by Mieko Takenobu about the difficulties that Filipino domestic workers have.
Tozen’s President Hifumi Okunuki was interviewed by NHK news.
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.”