Tozen Union Opposes the Tokyo Olympics

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.

フィリピン人家事労働者が抱えている労働問題が記事になりました。 TOZEN mentioned in article about Filipino domestic workers.

Tozen, and our President Okunuki Hifumi, have been mentioned in the following article by Mieko Takenobu about the difficulties that Filipino domestic workers have.

竹信三恵子氏のフィリピン人家事労働者が抱える問題についての記事の中で、東ゼン労組と執行委員長の奥貫妃文についても触れていただきました。

所持金1000円の外国人家政婦たち〜国家戦略特区「家事支援人材制度」の歪み /竹信三恵子

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/

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.

保育園運営の株式会社ピアソン、組合との団交拒否は違法行為と認定

2020年10月30日 東京

東京都労働委員会は10月28日、保育園を運営する株式会社ピアソンが東ゼン労組との団体交渉を拒否したことは、労働組合法第7条2号を違反する不当労働行為であると認定した。

昨年12月、校長である中村博一氏は、生徒の保護者と講師に対し、2020年2月16日をもって羽根木インターナショナルプリスクール(下北沢)を閉校することを発表した。講師たちにとっては、2ヶ月以内に失業するという通告でもあった。

組合側は、組合員の雇用を守るために団交を申し入れるべく、ファックスやメール、電話で数え切れないほど連絡を試みたものの、中村氏はそれらを無視し続けた。株式会社ピアソンによる団交拒否は、日本国憲法第28条で定められている、講師や組合の権利を侵害する行為である。

東ゼン労組はこの件について東京都労働委員会へ不当労働行為救済を申し立てたが、株式会社ピアソンは都労委からの電話にすら応じなかった。中村氏は従業員だけでなく、行政の連絡すらも応じず、最終的には都労委への調査期日には現れず、答弁書などの提出も一切なかった。

そして、組合員の生活に関しては、新型コロナウイルス感染症の流行は、学校閉校による解雇の影響をより一層悪化させた。
「まさにゴミのように使い捨てられました」解雇された講師の一人、アダム氏はそう言いました。「このコロナ禍で使い捨てられました。就職先はありません」

その一方、会社はまるで何事もなかったかのように活発にビジネスを続けている。

例えば、4月17日には、つくばインターナショナルナーサリースクール(愛称:TINS[ティンズ])の新たなウェブサイトが公開され、4月27日にはアフタースクールのプログラムまで発表された。

東ゼン労組は直ちに新たに要求事項を提出し、団交を申し入れる。
私たちは、株式会社ピアソンを交渉の場に就かせ、アダム氏への未払い賃金を支払い、この危機的状況における社会通念に背いた行為の責任を取らせるために、今後も諦めずに闘っていく。

Preschool operator KK Pearson snubs union, breaks law: Labor Commission

[Tokyo, October 30, 2020]

    Preschool operator Pearson KK’s refusal to meet Tozen Union for collective bargaining (CB) violates Article 7.2 of Japan’s Trade Union Act, the Tokyo Labor Commission ruled Wednesday. 

Last December, Principal Hirokazu Nakamura informed parents and teachers that Hanegi International Pre-School (in Shimokitazawa) would close on February 16, 2020. This meant teachers’ jobs would be gone in two months. 

Nakamura ignored countless union faxes, emails, and phone calls trying to set up a CB session to save a union member’s job. Pearson’s refusal violates the teachers’ and the union’s rights under Article 28 of the Constitution  

Tozen sued Pearson in the Tokyo Labor Commission, but the company ignored the commission’s calls. Nakamura refuses to face his employees and even his government. Pearson never turned up to a hearing or filed a piece of paper in their defense.

The Covid-19 pandemic worsened the impact of Hanegi’s collapse. “They put us out into the street like garbage,” Adam S, one of the fired teachers said. “Used us and threw us out into this horrible pandemic. There’s no work.”

Meanwhile, the company still runs a brisk business as if nothinghappened. Tsukuba International Nursery School rolled out a new website on April 17 and announced a new after-school program for their students on April 27. 

Tozen Union will immediately issue a renewed demand for CB. We will not give up the fight to bring Pearson KK to the table, pay Adam S. his back wages, and take responsibility for its anti-social behavior during this crisis.