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. Shortly thereafter, JCFL sent an apology letter to the union in accordance with the verdict.
However, in violation of Japanese norms and common sense, JCFL did not affix their stamp. When the union asked for a version with the stamp, JCFL ignored the letter.
Tozen Union had to take the step of filing a complaint with the Central Labor Commission charging that JCFL was in violation of the order. Under pressure from the Central Labor Commission, JCFL has finally issued a proper apology letter to the union, over two months after the verdict was finalized.
This is just more evidence of how Tozen Union has had to fight tooth and nail to get JCFL to recognize the trade union rights of our 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.
“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.”
Read the apology here.