Tozen Union leaders and members met with officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) on Nov. 26 to protest Simul International’s labor practices. The language school fired much of its long-serving staff just prior to them gaining the right to permanent employment after five years of service. The right is guaranteed under the amended Labor Contract Law.
Simul does frequent and lucrative business with MEXT, including interpreting for major international conferences. The union has already sued the company in the Tokyo Labor Commission for illegal refusal to negotiate in good faith.
President Hifumi Okunuki accompanied Field Director Gerome Rothman, members Ian Duncan, Chris Harrington, and Robert Carnochan to present a request to the ministry to investigate Simul’s evasion of the so-called five-year rule
Union officials gave an overview of the case, and members then explained how the sudden firing has disrupted long-term plans and family lives. They asked the ministry to encourage Simul to reinstate the fired members immediately. The ministry expressed concern but stopped short of promising results.
Finally, the union asked MEXT to arrange a formal meeting to discuss the matter further.