On March 27, 2019, five teachers unfairly dismissed from Simul International, a Benesse group company, sued in Tokyo District Court to win their jobs back. A day later on March 28th they demonstrated with Rengo Tokyo in front of Simul Headquarters.
In November of 2017, without warning Simul management announced that they were dismissing over 100 teachers and closing their Corporate Training Division. The date of termination was set for March 31st, one day before the so-called five year rule would have confirmed our members status as permanent employees.
The language school made this decision without negotiating the terms of the termination with the union, in violation of Labor Contract law and a long standing prior consultation agreement with the union. The Tozen Union Simul International Teachers Union has existed since 2003. For the first time ever, Simul forced our members to negotiate through lawyers. Simul has refused to tell the union when they decided to close the division and conduct this mass firing. Management has made no effort to transfer our members to other departments in Simul, despite there being plenty of work to do at this successful company.
Simul claims that this was all part of a necessary reorganization, but negotiations revealed that Simul international has no financial problems. Some of our members have worked for Simul for over 15 years.
For a year and a half the union has negotiated with management to try to win our members’ jobs back. When it became clear that Simul was simply ignoring the union and negotiating in bad faith, the union filed a petition with Tokyo Labor Commission. Despite these efforts negotiations remain stalled.
The union contends that Simul fired our members in an effort to avoid making them permanent under the five year rule, a revision of labor contract law that allows term limited employees to demand and be granted conversion to a permanent contract after 5 years.
We cannot allow companies to evade the five-year rule with mass terminations, flying in the face of the spirit of the revision. It is time to stand up for job security. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn what you can do to help.