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. 

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