Monday, June 28, 2010

Upper House election is just around the corner! Rally to demand poverty measures to each party

On June 9, 2010, approximately 300 people participated in a rally of the Anti-Poverty Campaign held at the Seiryo Kaikan hall in central Tokyo with the title, “Upper House election is just around the corner! Are poverty measures satisfactory?” (photo). Representatives of nearly all of the seven major and opposition parties joined the meeting. Suzuki Muneo, leader of New Party Daichi (the earth), said with applause from the audience, “More than 30,000 persons have committed suicide every year. In the past, there were 10,000 traffic accident victims a year with a headline “traffic war”. Compared with this figure, the current number of suicides symbolizes “terrorism”, even more terrible than war”. Respective representatives of the parties expressed their opinions based on remarks of three participants who were a single mother, a patient of an intractable disease, and a dispatched worker. The representatives mostly had positive views on the poverty issue but were sharply divided on the revision of the Worker Dispatch Law, with some appreciating it to a certain extent and the others saying, “It is totally insufficient”. (M) Webpage of Nati-Poverty Campaign

 6月9日、東京・星陵会館で「参議院選挙目前!どこまでできたか?貧困対策!」と題した反貧困ネットワークの集会が開催され、約300人が集まった(写真)。与野党ほぼ全ての7党の代表が出席した。新党大地の鈴木宗男議員が「毎年3万人以上の自殺者が出ている。昔は1万人の交通事故死者が出て“交通戦争”と騒がれた。それと比べれば、この自殺者の数は戦争どころか“テロ”だ」とぶつと大きな拍手が起きた。政党討論では、母子家庭・難病・派遣で苦しむ3人の当事者発言を受けて、各議員が持論を展開。貧困問題については前向きの発言が続いたが、派遣法改正については一定評価する意見と「まったく不十分」とする意見とで大きく分かれた。(М) 反貧困ネットワークHP

Condemn the killing of Filipino union activist of Japanese company Takata now

At 5:20 PM on June 2, 2010, Edward Panganiban, a Filipino union activist of a Japanese company Takata, was killed. Activists in the Philippines issued an international appeal calling for union activists around the world to support their campaign and protest against this killing. The appeal says, “The death of Mr. Panganiban is obviously an extrajudicial killing. He is the ninth victim in the labor movement in the Southern Tagalog region. His case is the 96th in the whole Philippines and happened in the suppression of trade unions by the Arroyo regime”. The appeal is calling for many protest mails to be sent from around the world to the Philippine Government. (International Team, LaborNet Japan) *Photo: Crime scene

 6月2日午後5時20分頃、何者かによって日系企業タカタのフィリピン労組活動家のエドワード・パンガニバン氏が殺害された。この事件に関してフィリピンの関係者が、世界の労働運動活動家に宛てて、支援と抗議を呼びかける国際アピールを発表した。アピールは、「パンガニバン氏の死はあきらかに超法規的殺害のケースであり、南タガログ地方の労働運動における9人目の犠牲者で、フィリピン全体で96件目の事件であること、アロヨ政権による労組弾圧キャンペーンの中で発生していること」などを指摘している。そしてフィリピン政府に対して、抗議メールを世界から集中するよう呼びかけている。(レイバーネット国際部) *写真=殺害現場

No to cancellation of “The Cove” screenings! Urgent appeal by filmmakers and journalists

Theaters in Japan have decided to cancel the screenings of “The Cove” one after another, a documentary film that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. This is seemingly due to some right-wing groups’ protest by phone and propaganda activities, and such a situation is very similar to when the screening of a film “Yasukuni” was forced to be cancelled at some theaters two years ago. If this kind of situation becomes common, any controversial films cannot be screened in Japan at all. The film that is widely shown overseas cannot be released in Japan, where it was shot, and this fact shows how vulnerable “freedoms of speech and expression” are in Japan. The film was finally screened despite the obstacle. * Photo: From “The Cove”

アカデミー賞長編ドキュメンタリー賞を受賞した映画「ザ・コーヴ」をめぐって、映画館が次々と上映中止を決めています。一部の右派団体からの電話や街宣による抗議を受けての「自粛」措置と思われますが、2年前の映画「靖国」の上映中止事件とよく似た事態といえます。こういう事態が一般化すると、評価が分かれるような問題作というべき映画は上映できないことになってしまいます。そもそも海外では広く公開されているこの映画が、作品で描かれた当事国の日本で公開できないというのは、日本における「言論表現の自由」がいかに脆弱かを示す事柄といえましょう。 上映禁止を迫られたが、上映にいたった。 *写真=映画「ザ・コーヴ」より

Female employees of Toyoko Inn organize union – No more working long overtime hours and human rights violation!

In Toyoko Inn Co., Ltd., which runs 200 economy hotels in Japan, full-time female employees in charge of reception and room service formed the “Toyoko Inn Union”. They cannot take a nap or rest despite that they have to work in a 25-hour shift. They have to work very long overtime hours without pay, and there are only one to two employees required to manage the whole building late at night. They are forced to take 8-day “introspection training” in a half tatami mat-sized (9 square feet) closed space. They have filed a lawsuit to the Osaka District Court about their “extremely hard work likely to cause karoshi (death from overwork) and training with human rights being violated”. However, the management rebuts their claims for unpaid wages as “dogmatic leftist theories” and insists the introspection training as a “spiritual and psychological technique that cannot be grasped with materialistic understanding”. More and more employees of the hotel chain are joining the union after reading flyers and news reports. The National Council of the National Union of General Workers opened “Labor and human rights hotlines for Toyoko Inn” in various places in Japan. (Yamahara, Zenrokyo: National Trade Union Council) - Webpage for more details


Web signatures for showing solidarity! Struggle of Honda workers in China continues

On June 1, 2010, six labor organizations and NGOs in Hong Kong issued an international appeal and called for web signatures in order to support Honda workers in China who went on strike for demanding pay rises. The strike had continued for sixteen days and many assembly factories of Honda were obliged to shut down. On May 31, an injury case took place amid their partial reopening, caused by a member of the official trade union. Retaliation for striking workers is anticipated. The demands of the six organizations in Hong Kong include an apology for the injury case that happened on May 31, a pay increase by 800 renminbi and a seniority allowance of 100 renminbi, a reorganization of the trade union, and subsequent suppression of the striking workers to be stopped. This issue is ours as Honda is a Japanese company. We would like many people to send web signatures for expressing solidarity. (International Team, LaborNet Japan) * Photo: Honda workers in China on strike

 賃金引上げを求めてストライキに決起した中国ホンダ労働者を支援しようと、6月1日、香港の労働団体やNGOなど6団体が国際アピールとウェブ署名の呼びかけを発表した。ホンダ労働者のストライキは16日目に突入し、多くのホンダ組立工場も操業停止に追い込まれた。5月31日には、一部操業再開の中で官製労働組合による傷害事件が発生した。またストライキ参加者への報復措置も予想されている。香港6団体の会社への要求内容は、「5/31の傷害事件に対しての謝罪、800元の昇給と年齢手当100元、労働組合を改組すること、スト労働者への事後弾圧をやめること」などである。ホンダは日本の企業であり、われわれの問題でもある。ぜひ多くの人がウェブ署名で連帯を示すことを呼びかけたい。(レイバーネット国際部) *写真=スト中の中国ホンダ労働者

Friday, June 11, 2010

Japan-US Agreement Discriminates Okinawa - Okinawan Anger Outbursts at Japanese and US Governments

In the rain, the demonstration of furor did not break for 18 minutes. On May 28 when the Japanese and US governments released a joint statement for the relocation of Futenma Air Base to Henoko, Nago City, protest rallies were held in the cities of Naha and Nago against the Japan-US agreement. "The Japan-US agreement discriminates Okinawa." The rallies in Nago and Naha attracted more than 1,000 citizens, respectively, to give outcries toward both US and Japanese governments as they were promoting the base relocation within the prefecture, ignoring voices of Okinawa. To the square in front of the prefectural office located in the Naha City, protesters with an umbrella streamed continuously in the rain to attend the rally (see the photo). "April 28 is the day of humiliation. Today, May 28 is the day of insult to the Okinawans." As speakers expressed their determination, participants responded with applauses and voices of compathy, pledging to maintain their stiff fight.
By Gaja


Rise Up, Freelancers! - First Demonstration of Freelancers in Publishing Industry Succeeds

"Raise the fees!" "Ten thousand yen for 400 characters!" "No more tolerance for their treatment of freelancers as disposable items!" These voices echoed in the gloaming around Jimbocho, Tokyo. On May 25, freelancers working in the publishing industry staged a demonstration to appeal about their plight. The working conditions of freelancers in the publishing industry are worsening. Realities include article fees that have not been raised for more than 40 years, editing allowances being cut continually and lowering royalty rates as well as reduction of the number of copies of the first edition of a book. The demonstration is the first one by freelancers in the publishing industry, and is realization of the assertion that "Freelancers should also get united and demonstrate" that has been debated over years.
By Takuya Kobayashi
Photo by Hitomi Nishimura

「ギャラを上げろ」「400字1万円を」「フリーの使い捨て許すな」との声が、夕方の東京・神田神保町にこだました。5月25日、出版業界でフリーランスとして働く有志が、苦境を訴えるべくデモを行った。出版業界で働くフリーランスの労働条件は悪化している。40年以上上がらない原稿料、相次ぐ編集手当の切り下げ、印税率の低下と初刷部数の低下などが現実としてある。今回のデモは出版フリーランスの苦境を訴えた初のデモであり、長年賛否両論を込めて言われ続けてきた「フリーランスも団結してデモを行うべきだ」という意見が実現された形だ。(小林拓矢)  *写真・西村仁美

A Strike Goes On at Honda's Factory in China - Complaint Allegedly Attributable to Wage Gap between Japanese and Chinese Employees

Starting in early May, the strike at an automotive parts factory run by Guangqi Honda Automobile in Guangzhou, China, is still going on. The latest news update tells that their entire automotive production lines have been paralyzed. This morning, the media reported that the company made a proposal of wage and allowance increases by 355 yuan (about \5,000) on May 26, which was rejected by the labor. According to the media, workers said, "We will adhere to our three-point basic demands: wage increases, a better wage system and a fairer management system." The City of Foshan, Guandong Province, home to this plant, has been attracting attention to workers' life-and-death situation after a series of death-leap attempts by 11 workers for Foxconn. By Inagaki
Links to video reports on the strike
Photo: The struck factory 

 5月初めからはじまった中国・広州本田の部品工場でのストライキがつづいています。最新のニュースでは自動車生産が全面停止になったとあります。今朝の報道では、5月26日に会社側は355元(約5000円)の賃金・手当の引き上げを提案したようですが、労働者は拒否したようです。報道によると「われわれは三点の原則を堅持する。賃上げ、賃金体系の改善、管理制度の改善の三点だ」とのことです。工場のある広東省佛山市は、富士康集団(フォックスコン)の労働者11人が相次いで飛び降り自殺を図るなど、労働者の生存状況に関心が集まっています。(稲垣) ・ストライキの映像 *写真=ストライキに入った工場

An Epoch-making Event Starts! - A great Success of the Labornet TV

From 8:00 p.m. to 9:20 on May 17, Labornet TV initiated its broadcasting (Labornet TV program No. 00). About 30 members involved gathered at the studio, MediR at Yotsuya, Tokyo, including performers, staff members and audience, in the air of excitement. The program was composed of the following seven sections: News Digest, The Dispute, "Tell Me, Old Chap," Boasting Complaints, The Video of the Month, Uni-uni and Opinion Monitoring," continuously inviting laughter. "The labor movement is fun as well as meaningful." This message stayed all through the program. Mr. Masanori Yamaguchi said in his review, "A TV was born that enables workers to transmit messages on their own. This is an epoch-making event among Japan's media, and I am deeply impressed." The viewership has reached about 500 and a lot of comments have arrived. Based on the outcome of Broadcast No. Zero, Labornet plans to develop full-fledged TV broadcasting.
See the photo report on the archive-viewing page
Photo: "Tell me, Old Chap" winning great appreciation 

画期的なことが始まった!~レイバーネットTV 大成功
 5月17日午後8時~9時20分、レイバーネットTVの初放送(ゼロ号)が行われた。スタジオの四谷メディアールには、出演者・スタッフ・観客など30名が集まり熱気に包まれた。番組は、「News digest・ザ争議・教えておじさん・不満自慢・今月の一本・ユニゆに・ご意見番」の7つのコーナーで進められたが、終始、笑いの連続だった。「労働運動って面白くて楽しくて意義がある」、そんなメッセージが詰まった番組になった。山口正紀さんは講評で「労働者が自ら発信できるTVがうまれた。これは、日本のメディアの中で画期的なことで、感激した」と感想を述べた。視聴者数も約500人に達し、多数のコメントが寄せられた。レイバーネットでは、今回のゼロ号を踏まえて、本格的にTV発信を展開する予定だ。アーカイブ視聴ページ・写真報告*写真=大好評だった「教えて、おじさん」

Give Us Jobs for Decent Living! - Appeal Walk by 5,200 Young People

National Youth Assembly 2010 for Jobs for Decent Living and Working attracted about 5,200 young people from around the country to Meiji Park, Tokyo, making a great success. Young workers fighting lawsuits through solidarity with fellow members of labor unions after the termination of their employment as dispatched workers said, "During the past one and a half years, the actual conditions of dispatched workers under the Worker Dispatch Law have been uncovered and the situation is drastically moving ahead toward the revision of the Law. Now is the time for dispatched workers to take action for a change." The closing speech at the rally concluded by pointing out that the rally was a start of a new struggle, rather than the goal. 5,200 young participants started Meiji Park for an appeal walk through Harajuku and Omotesando.
By Shingo Yamada, Metropolitan Youth Union
See the video (on Union Tube)