JCFL Members braved the rain and management harassment on Thursday, January 22 to conduct a recruitment leafleting to in front of the JCFL Takadanobaba campus during their lunch break.
At 12:30, Case officer Gerome Rothman and three union members arrived at the front gate. They began leafleting instructors and staff.
Shortly after the union began, management deployed several non-union staffers to interfere with the leafleting. Management first told the union they would call the police. The union responded by insisting management stop interfering with our legitimate union activity.
At 12:35, 5 union-members who are instructors at the school emerged to join the recruitment effort. Union members were targeting instructors for leafleting where possible and doing everything they could to make sure students and staff had a safe path to walk to and from the school.
The task was very difficult. Every time a car came by, management would swarm the union members and make it impossible for students to pass. Union members were persistent, demanding that management not interfere with leafleting to co-workers and the union’s efforts to keep the students safe.
One manager put his hands on the arm of one of the union members in an effort to prevent him from leafleting. When Rothman demanded that the manager not touch union members, the manager stuck his tongue out at him and said 「国に帰って！」, or “Go back to you country!”
This kind of management racism and harassment has become all too routine at JCFL. Union members had hoped that management would comply with a recent injunction issued by the Tokyo Labor Commission that JCFL stop interfering with Tozen’s legitimate union activity. Unfortunately, today the members of the JCFL local suffered more of the same.
Despite management interference, racist provocations and intimidation the students were kept safe and the union was able to hand out many leaflets. A half hour later, they finished up and left.
The union is not sure whether or not the company called the police, but by 12:30 there were no police officers in the vicinity of the school. If management did call the police, perhaps they informed JCFL management that neither the police, nor management have the right to interfere with lawful union activity.
The JCFL local’s modest demands include that the company reinstate one of our members who was fired for being in the union, recognize the part time instructors at permanent employees, and have a transparent and fair wage scale. They are also insisting that the company stop cutting the course load offered to union members.
The JCFL local needs your help. To learn what you can do, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Japanese and English versions of the leaflet are posted below.