Labor Board Rules Against Shane on Two Counts, Rejects Union’s Other Claims

Wednesday, October 2nd, the Tokyo Labor Commission ruled that language school Shane Corp. committed unfair labor practices in issuing a warning letter to the president of Tozen Union’s Shane Workers Union and in reducing the class load of another member. 

The commission also ordered the school to issue an official apology to the union.

An “unfair labor practice” is a violation of the Trade Union Act.

In the same verdict, the commission rejected the union’s other union-busting claims.

Ostensibly, the warning letter was for taking a paid holiday with less than two months notice, but the commission ruled that the real reason was union activity.

Both parties have two weeks to appeal.

Tozen JCFL Local Scores Final Victory in Labor Commission

On August 9th 2019, Tokyo High Court ruled that Japan College of Foreign Languages interfered with union leafleting in June and October of 2013, violating trade union law and the constitutional rights of Tozen Union members.

The Tozen JCFL local, established in 2013, faced a hostile reception from the outset. At two union actions JCFL obstructed union leafleting. The union sued JCFL in the Tokyo Labor Relations Commission. On Jan 25, 2016, the commission ruled that the school had interfered with legitimate union activity and ordered the school to apologize.

JCFL appealed to the Central Labor Relations Commission, which upheld the ruling.

The school sued the government to overturn the ruling. On March 1, 2019 Tokyo District Court again ruled against JCFL. The school took the case to Tokyo High Court which rejected JCFL’s appeal.

On Aug 13, six years removed from the illegal obstruction, JCFL finally apologized to the union.

“Rather than take responsibility from the very beginning and simply apologize, JCFL has adopted a strategy of stonewalling and endless litigation, wasting time and prolonging the inevitable,” said Tozen Senior Organizer Gerome Rothman. “JCFL has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the union, except under court order.”

Union President Todd Williams said, “To call this a hard won victory for the union would be an understatement. It is a testament to the grit and tenacity of our members. JCFL cannot escape the consequences of its belligerence towards the union.”

National Labor Board Upholds Ruling Against JCFL

Victory!

The Central Labor Relations Commission ruled on Thursday March 29th that Japan College of Foreign Languages (JCFL, a division of Bunsai Gakuen) had illegally interfered with Tozen Union’s leafleting actions in front of the school.

Tozen Union and its JCFL Local argued that management interfered with legitimate union activity by sending employees out to block the union from passing out leaflets at two separate leafletings in 2013.

In January of 2016, Tokyo Labor Relations commission ruled in favor of the union’s petition, ordering management to cease all such interference and to post a large sign apologizing to the union at the workplace for ten days.  Management immediately appealed.  That appeal was formally rejected on Thursday.

The victory was thanks to the relentless struggle of the local.

Three amigos on a mission to protect your rights

The only people who tend to know what I’m talking about when I say the words “labor relations commission” are unionists, labor or corporate lawyers and labor-law scholars. These panels are government enforcement bodies that lack the glamour and fame of the courts, the cops and even the Labor Standards Office, and sound about as dull as dish water. This is a shame, because in actual fact, they do some amazing work. Let me explain.

Read moreThree amigos on a mission to protect your rights