Fighting Unfair Dismissals at IHT/Asahi Shimbun

The IHT/Asahi Shimbun branch president Chie and two other branch members were recently dismissed as part of the newspaper’s continuing campaign against our union and their refusal to respect the basic labour rights of employees and the company’s legal obligations under Trade Union Law. We had an exciting shuro seikyu, a formal written demand to … Read more

U.N. calls for antidiscrimination law

The government urgently needs to acknowledge that deep discrimination against minorities, Korean and Chinese residents and other foreigners exists in Japan, an independent investigator said Monday. Doudou Diene, appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Commission in 2002 as special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, was in Japan for … Read more

Interac Demo, Round 2

Over 15 members showed up Saturday morning for the second Interac demonstration. We played music (“You can’ get me cuz I’m in the union…”) and spoke for about 30 minutes, passing out our mark II Interac dispute newsletter. We set the bullhorn again on the hillock opposite the company. Hundreds of students (probably on their … Read more

Interac Demonstration

Each Saturday morning Interac offers free Japanese lessons to ALTs at HQ. So we were right back out there Saturday morning with our posters and fliers – this time 17 members. We figured surely Interac wouldn’t cancel an entire class just to avoid the union’s demonstration. Again we had underestimated Interac’s cowardice. We set the … Read more

Interac runs from collective bargaining

Unable after weeks to get Interac and its slippery Chairman Seiichi Matsumoto to agree to talks…or even to talk…even on the phone, Nambu Interac Branch and several other Nambu activists went to Interac HQ in Iidabashi Friday evening to demand collective bargaining. We knew Interac HQ operates until 9pm so arriving at 7pm gave us … Read more

New Nova hours pose health risk

Bob Tench, president of the Nova Teachers’ Union, argues that Nova’s attempts to “wriggle out of its obligations” under the insurance system, could leave teachers, particularly those with families, in an dangerous position should they become ill while working for the company and have to take time off work. “Most teachers aren’t even aware of … Read more

Foreign Teachers’ Concerns Voiced at Diet Hearings

On Friday 15 April, foreign teachers, members of NUGW Tokyo Nambu branch unions, assembled in a boisterous demonstration opposite the Diet building in Tokyo. Union members from Fukuoka, Iwate, Kobe, and Nagoya, as well as over 30 participants from Kanto, were present. “Being here really does make a difference,” said Louis Carlet, Nambu Deputy Secretary-General. … Read more

English schools face huge insurance probe

Bob Tench, president of the Nova Union, says that Nova’s failure to enroll its teachers while offering JMA insurance is irresponsible. “This JMA insurance is only designed to ‘patch you up and ship you home,’ ” he says. “JMA is travel insurance and should not be used for everyday health care. “The government and the … Read more

English on the Cheap

Dispatch companies employ teachers, so while they have an employer-employee relationship, the BOE (school) holds no legal relationship with the teacher. And while all workers in a school must be under the authority of the principal, in this situation, they are not. Also, if your company designates a method of teaching, but your team teacher … Read more