From the Begunto Website:
On September 14th Begunto entered dispute after weeks of negotiations that went nowhere. On September 16th we had our first striking member. The purpose of the strike is to realize the Union’s demand that our member, Matthew Wiegand, be reinstated in his job. We aim to protect members against unfair dismissals.
A message from Tozen Union President, Okunuki Hifumi, (16 September 2021):
Today, 13 years after its founding and now part of Tozen Union, our local Begunto has begun a new fight – this time not for more money but rather to protect the job of one of our members. At 7:40 pm this evening, our member Yancey walked off the job – on strike to push Berlitz management to reinstate our member Matt Wiegand.
Begunto (Berlitz General Union Tokyo) has a history going back to 1994, the year of its founding (then part of NUGW Tokyo Nambu). Over the next 27 years, Begunto has blazed a wide trail for language teachers in Japan, with enormous victories that changed the language school industry. In 2007, the union launched an intense, twelve-month strike to raise wages across the board by 4.6%, something unheard of among any teacher unions, let alone one with mostly foreign teachers. Berlitz Japan made two offers, but Begunto rejected them as too little. (See the wikipedia entry for this historic strike)
This fight is Tozen Union’s fight as much as Begunto’s fight. We will fight together to protect all our members’ job from reckless firings like this one. We will update you on events that all Tozen members can join to help us win.
Tozen Union Executive President