Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stop Use of Workers as "Disposable Humans"! - Rally against the Worker Dispatch Law Attracts 260 Participants

On April 13, a 260-strong meeting took place at the Bar Association HallCREO, Tokyo, entitled 'Now is the Time for Radical Revision of Worker Dispatch Law' Rally. Participants included labor organizations, citizen groups and individuals that had been involved in the Tent for the Jobless initiatives. The purpose of this meeting was to realize drastic revision of the Worker Dispatch Law, and participants also included representatives of the Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, the Japan Communist Party and the People's New Party. Among voices from reality on the ground, a compelling appeal of a youth (see the photo) who had been dismissed due to discontinuation of a worker dispatch contract received great applause of sympathy when he said from his heart, "We get fired with the simple remarks of our team leader like 'That guy isn't good enough. Send in a new worker.'They treat us like disposable items. This form of employment is obviously wrong." The organizers of the rally are planning to stage a rally in the Hibiya Outdoor Music Hall on May 14, determined to exercise all their strength to have the law revised drastically in the current Diet session.


Unionists Rush In to Help Us --- Akira Imai's Photo Exhibition #40

The national center of labor unions of Japan consists of three organizations: Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), Zenroren(National Confederation of Trade Unions), and Zenrokyo (Natinal Trade Union Council). This is the photo used for the poster appealing the 2009 spring laborer offensive by one of them, Zenrokyo. Looking at the poster, one of members of Zentoitsu (Zentoitsu Workers Union) said, "She had a hard time. She jumped down from the second floor and had her leg bone fractured." It was the end of August last year that the Zentoitsu headquarters received a report saying, "Something outrageous is happening in Yamanashi." In the incident, more than a dozen people including the president of a company attacked a company dormitory when occupants were asleep to do violence to six trainees from China in order to force them to return to China. The incident was revealed when two of the six escaped the scene and reported it to the Zentoitsu. Ms. A suffered bone fracture while trying to escape. Ms. A says, "It made us happy that union members rushed to help us out when we were in trouble." (Akira Imai)


Clinical Psychotherapist Union Formed --- Establishing Employment Environment Capable of Addressing Rapid Increases of Child Abuse Cases

Clinical psychotherapists working as part-time or temporary personnel at children's institutions (operating at eight locations) founded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government formed a labor union named Clinical Psychotherapists Union on March 12 as a chapter of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW)-Tokyo East, which was announced to the press on April 6 at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. At present, the number of child abuse-related consultation cases brought in to children's institutions around the country is increasing rapidly. Under such circumstances, the significance of the role of psychotherapists continues to grow. However, employment of these psychotherapists is unstable and the working conditions are very poor. What these workers are concerned with is that the instability and harsh working environment could cause degradation of services, which might in turn cause adverse effect on a large number of children in need of mental or psychological care services. In order to take part in changing the current situation of the matter, psychotherapists stood up for forming the first labor union of the kind. (Mitsuteru Suda, NUGW) * Photo: The Founding members of the Union. (See a related blog page)

 東京都が設置している児童養護施設(8施設)で非常勤・臨時職員として働く臨床心理士たちで3月12日、労働組合「臨床心理士ユニオン」を東部労組の支部として結成、4月6日、厚生労働省で記者発表しました。現在、全国の児童相談所に持ち込まれる児童虐待の相談件数は、うなぎ上りに増えています。その中で、心理士の果たす役割は重くなる一方です。ところが、その心理士たちの雇用は不安定で待遇も極めて劣悪です。彼ら彼女らが懸念しているのは、不安定で劣悪な雇用環境がサービスの低下をもたらし、心のケアを必要としている多くの子どもにしわ寄せがいくことです。こうした現状を打開するために心理士は自分たちの手で、初めて労働組合の結成に立ち上がりました。(東京東部労組・須田光照) *写真=組合結成したユニオンメンバー ・当該ブログ

The Dram Reproduced! - "Tent for the Jobless -- Six Days that Moved the Country" Published

"Tent for the Jobless -- Six Days that Moved the Country" has been released (Edited by the Tent for the Jobless executive committee, published by the Mainichi Shimbun). I bought it today and already finished reading it. It is a magnificent book. Probably Mr. Satoshi Tokairin, a Mainichi correspondent, probably worked to the limit of his physical power for writing the book. While a number of correspondents contributed articles to this book, Mr. Tokairin's documentary-style reports cover more than half of the entire book, providing very easy-to-understand accounts of the six days of the Tent site. He must have stayed day and night all through the six days on the Tent site, collecting materials and continuing to type on his PC against sleepiness. Perhaps his enthusiasm and his stance toward reporting of the Tent moves us while we read on. Just like other incidents, there may have been the front and back faces, but this book describes the entire drama of the Tent for the Jobless. (Tatsuya Kimura) (See also the "Tent for the Jobless" DVD )


 「派遣村-国を動かした6日間」(年越し派遣村実行委員会編・毎日新聞社)。今日買って、今夜読了した。いい本である。毎日新聞社の東海林智(とうかいりんさとし)記者が体を張っておそらく懸命に書き上げた本であろう。多くの執筆者がいるが、彼が半分以上をドキュメンタリータッチで描いているので、大変分かりやすく読みやすい。この派遣村の始めから終了までの6日間を、派遣村に泊まり込んで眠気に耐えながら取材し、パソコンを打ち続けたのであろう。彼のこの派遣村取材にかける姿勢が、その情熱が現れていて読んでいて熱くなるのだ。おそらくこの派遣村にも表と違う裏の部分があったのだろうが、とりあえずはこの報告書によって、あの「年越派遣村」のドラマの全てが分かる仕組みになっている。(木村達也) ・派遣村DVD(10分)

A Rally for Recovery of Human Rights of the 1047 Workers Takes Place

In response to the March 25 Tokyo High Court ruling on the JR employment discrimination case, the four lawsuit parties and four supporting organizations jointly held a rally for the first time on April 1 at the Curian citizens hall, Tokyo, which was named "Rally for Recovery of Human Rights of the 1047 Workers, Aimed at Fulfilment of Demand through Political Solution" and attended by 1,500 participants. Representing the caretaker parties, Takahashi Kokuro '(National Railworkers' Union) Headquarters Chairperson expressed his determination to keep fighting until their demand for justice and recovery of human rights would be fulfilled. Nihei Joint Struggle Congress Chairperson explained the development and Mr. Shinsuke Kato, the chief of the attorneys reported on the evaluation of the ruling and the future direction of the struggle. Then Mr. Masaaki Hara of the Chikuho Struggle Team and Ms. Hiroko Tanaka, representing family members of the Wakkanai Struggle Team, talked about how they had lived and fought for these 22 years, respectively. They unanimously made it clear that they would continue to fight until they would win employment, pension benefits and settlement money. (Takeshi Kawamura) (Photo: Struggle Team members and families on the stage)

 3月25日のJR採用差別事件の東京高裁判決を受けて、初めての4者4団体主催による「1047名の人権回復を! 政治解決で要求実現をめざす集会」が4月1日、東京・きゅりあんで1500人が参加して開かれた。主催者を代表して高橋国労本部委員長が、公正さと人権回復を求めて要求実現まで闘う決意を表明。二瓶(にへい)国鉄闘争共闘会議議長が経過報告、加藤晋介主任弁護人が判決の概要と評価、闘いの方向性について報告した。そして、筑豊闘争団の原正明さん、稚内闘争団家族の田中廣子さんがそれぞれ22年の闘い・暮らしを語りながら、「雇用・年金・解決金を勝ち取るまで闘い続ける」と23年目を闘う決意を語った。(川村剛史 かわむら たけし) *写真=闘争団・家族が登壇

Saturday, April 11, 2009

They Couldn't Fire Nezu! --Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education Reprimands 12 Teachers

On March 31, the Tokyo education board issued an order against the teachers who refused to stand up for Kimigayo national anthem. Shortly after 3 p.m., Kimiko Nezu came out of a building with a document in hand (see photo). She was full of smiles. The moment she made a circle with her hands, a group of supporters waiting outside screamed in joy. On March 26, when they received the "worst ever"verdict for Nakanishi, everyone expected that Nezu would be stripped of their teaching licenses. But on the day, total of 12 teachers received the order: Nezu and Junko Kawarai received suspencion orders of six months, and Atsuko Watanabe received an order of three months. This was the third time Nezu was ordered to stay away from teaching for six months, but she barely escaped heavier reprimand after getting several suspencion orders. "I was able to escape it because many people supported me," Nezu said at a press conference, while Ms. Kawarai said: "Even then, the reprimand is a serious one. But we will not give up." (By M. See video on UnionTube)

 3月31日、都教職員研修センターで「君が代不起立」の処分発令があった。午後3時すぎ、根津公子さんが発令書を手に建物から出てきた(写真)。満面の笑み、手で丸をつくっている。その瞬間、支援者から歓声が上がった。26日の「最低最悪」の中西判決を受け、誰もが「免職処分」を予測していたからだ。この日処分された教員は12名で、根津さんと河原井純子さんは「停職6月」、渡辺厚子さんが「停職3月」だった。根津さんは3度目の「停職6月」だが、転勤もなく「累積加重処分」をぎりぎりで食い止めた。「大勢の人が一緒にたたかってくれたから」と根津さん、河原井さんは「それにしても重い処分。でもあきらめない」と記者会見で語った。(M) ・動画(UnionTube)

1700 People Gather at Anti-Poverty Festa--Discussin on 'Work' Heats Up

On March 28, Anti-Poverty Festa 2009 was held at Kanda Hitotsubashi Junior High School. Many homeless people lined up for free food, which reminded visitors of "TentCity," which drew many jobless during the New Year's holidays. About 1,700 people of a wide age range gathered at the festa. In the afternoon, a symposium was held on"Our work is threatened" (see photo). People who were laid off from their temp jobs and others who face severe labour conditions told their stories at the rally. Three federation of labor unions and citizens groups also discussed about Japan's labor issues and threw criticism at one another. At the closing ceremony, Anti-Poverty Network representative and lawyer, Kenji Utsunomiya, said:"I agreed with the opinion that the success of Tent City came about from cooperation between labor unions and citizens groups. We must create a society where people can work in a decent manner by strengthening relationship between the unions and citizenry groups."


I Was Fired for Accepting Interview from Media!--Hankyu Travel Support Busts Union

Takuji Shiota (Photo; Temporary tour guide), who served as a president of Hankyu Travel Support branch union, was targeted by the company for union busting after he responded to an interview by a weekly magazine, "Shukan Kinyobi." The company claimed that Shiota's reports on the workplace were based on fallacy and they defamed the company's reputations as well as disturbing business operations. Shiota suddenly on March 18 was told he would not receive any more work as signments from the company.The head union, National Union of General Workers TokyoTobu, and the magazine held a press conference at Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and appealed to the public that the company was acting unfairnly. The magazine publisher, Makoto Sataka, expressed anger by saying, "This interfers with freedom of expression respected in journalism. We'll stand up against this challenge." The union interprets it as "an act against unionism and anti-poverty movement as a whole," and plans to take it up as a social issue and brings the fight against the conference (union tube) the related blog


 「週刊金曜日」の取材に応じて、職場の実態などを話したら、会社から「虚偽・名誉毀損・業務妨害」とされ、事実上解雇(アサイン停止)される事件が起きた。阪急トラベルサポート社によるこの事件は、東京東部労組の阪急トラベルサポート支部を嫌悪し、委員長の塩田卓嗣さん(写真・派遣添乗員)を狙いうちにしたもの。塩田さんは、3月18日に突然、今後一切仕事をさせないという「アサイン停止」通告を会社から受けた。組合と「週刊金曜日」は26日、厚労省で共同記者会見を行い、その不当性を訴えた。佐高信発行人は「これではジャーナリズムは成り立たない。売られたケンカは買う」と怒りを露わにした。組合は「ユニオン・反貧困運動全体への攻撃」と受け止め、同社を社会的に批判する大運動を展開する予定だ。 記者会見(UnionTube)当該ブログ

Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Overcome "Distrust in and Resignation from Activism" -- 2009 Labornet General Meeting

On March 20, 35 people gathered for the Labornet's 2009 general meeting in Tokyo and discussed future direction of the group. Makoto Kawazoe (photo right), one of the group's representative, reported on what you can see from non-regular/anti-poverty movement. "Several tens of thousands of temp workers are being laid off, but only about 2,000 dismisse workers have joined unions. The number is too small. I've met some people who came to our union with 800 yen in hand. When the situation gets this worse, there is a problem before you start talking about problems at work. These people have a strong sense of responsibility and tend to feel pressured, while they are distrusted in and resigned from unions. The issue here is how we can overcome that. Labornet ran a Union Yes! Campaign in 2007, but we need a new scheme that is more inviting and suitable for the younger generation amid worsening economic and labor crisis."


Strike against 'Zero Response' -- Postal Workers Union and Telecommunications Industry Labor Union

On March 19, Postal Workers Union and Telecommunications Industry Labor Union (Dentsu Union) executed a strike against no response to the 2009 spring offense demands.The postal union demanded that the company improve working conditions for non-regular workers, but it had not responded to the demands. The union went ahead with adesignated strike at 10 branch stores from 8 a.m. About 50members of Dentsu Union executed the strike at four locations. (Photo left: Fukagawa post office in Tokyo; right, NTT East Co. main headquarters) See video(UnionTube), Postal Workers Unon homepage.

 3月19日、09春闘の「ゼロ回答」に抗議して郵政労働者ユニオンと電通労組がストライキを決行した。郵政ユニオンは非正規労働者の待遇改善を要求したが、これにもまったく回答がなかったため、全国10支店で午前8時から時限ストに入った。電通労組は全国4拠点・約50名がストを行なった。写真左は、東京・深川郵便局前、右はNTT東日本本社前。 動画(UnionTube)郵政ユニオンHP