Tuesday, April 23, 2013

500 March around 'Dai Nippon Printing Village,' Protesting Disguised Contracting

Some 500 protesters marched around the so-called Dai Nippon Printing Village in Tokyo on April 12. Marchers' chants such as "DNP, take responsibility for disguised contracting!" and "DNP, stop depriving businesses of smaller companies!" echoed in a large area where the headquarters of DNP, one of the largest corporation in Japan, are located with premises of various subsidiaries. Several unions including Zen'insoren (National Confederation of Printing and Publishing Industry Trade Unions) and MIC Union for workers in industries of mass media, information and culture organized the demonstration to support the struggle of HASHIBA Tsuneyuki. Hashiba, 49, a former employee of Nihon Uni-Device temp agency working in a factory of DNP Fine-Electronics, a DNP subsidiary, filed a suit after being fired. Hashiba was paid 1060 yen per hour out of 2100 yen that DPD Fine-Electronics paid to Nihon Uni-Device due to the involvement of DNP Microtechnica, another subsidiary of DNP, in between the two. Saitama Labor Office conducted on-site inspections and determined the case as disguised contracting. DNP Fine-Electronics promised the labor office to take remedies, but, not only having failed to do so, they keep denying in the court the disguised contracting itself. In addition to such disputes over two-tired disguised contracting, DNP Group has been criticized for monopoly: They are said to beat smaller printing companys in bids and offer the same contracts to them by deducting sizable commissions. (By KITA Ken'ichi) Photos (in the full report in Japanese)


「大日本印刷は偽装請負の責任をとれ!」「大日本印刷は中小の仕事をとるな!」 4月12日、関連施設が密集する「大日本ムラ」が、デモ参加者たち500人の声で包まれた。大日本印刷(DNP)を取り囲むデモを呼びかけたのは全印総連、日本文化マスコミ情報労組会議(MIC)など。きっかけはDNPの子会社DNPファインの工場で働き、クビを切られた橋場恒幸さん(49歳)の争議だ。DNPファインで働いていた橋場さんだが、書類上の雇用主は日本ユニ・デバイス。しかもユニとファインのあいだにもう1社、DNPミクロテクニカという会社が入り、DNPファインが払っていた2100円の時給を二重にピンハネ。橋場さんは1060円しか受け取っていなかった。埼玉労働局は立ち入り調査の結果、偽装請負と認定。ファインは是正を約束するが、橋場さんが起こした裁判では手の平を返し「偽装などやってない」と強弁している。DNPグループには、こうした二重偽装請負のほか、中小印刷会社から仕事を取り上げ、取った仕事からピンハネして低価格で再委託することで、利益を独占しているとの批判も絶えない。DNPグループには、こうした二重偽装請負のほか、中小印刷会社から仕事を取り上げ、取った仕事からピンハネして低価格で再委託することで、利益を独占しているとの批判も絶えない。(北健一) 続き

Anti-Nukes Activists Defiant as Eviction Threatens Occupy Tents at Economy Ministry

The government filed a suit with Tokyo District Court, demanding two leading members of the anti-nukes tents in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry       to clear the land and leave. FUCHIGAMI Taro (right in the photo) and MASAKIYO Taichi (left) have been identified by the government as the owners of the tents and demanded, in addition to the clearance, payment of eleven million yen for the use of the land. Following the receipt of the complaint on April 6, the tent members held a press conference on April 10. "The government accuses us of unlawfully occupying state-owned land, but it is the government who has been behaving grossly unlawfully since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima," they told 50 audience including reporters and tent supporters. "We do not own the tents. They are owned jointly by many people living in Japan and abroad who desire nuclear-free world." "The occupy-style protest is a manifestation of the people's sovereignty." They announced that they would file a suit against the national government and call it the case to defend the anti-nukes tents and people's lives. "We will never leave by ourselves. Join our fight to defend the tents, the symbol of the anti-nukes movement," said Fuchigami, the representative of the tent members. (By M)  Photos  Video by Labornet TV (remark by one of the tent members, no subtitles)  Full recording of the press conference (by UPLAN, no subtitles)  

In the evening of April 12, several hundred of people gathered in front of the main entrance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to protest the lawsuit filed by the government. KAMATA Satoshi (right in the photo), a reportage writer and leading anti-nuclear activist, made a speech addressed to the minister and officials of the ministry. "Listen. Do you think it is right to bring innocent citizens of this country to the court? They are raising voice to correct the wrong policies of the national government. The people have a constitutional right to do so. We are the best and most prudent people who are struggling by exerting the rights given to us by the law. You have filed a suit against two of us, even demanding money from them. But it is you, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, who owe us a huge amount of money to be paid for enormous damages caused by the disaster in Fukushima. Who contaminated the sea, the mountains, the rivers, the air and the water of Japan? Are you not the ones who are liable for the damages? Who will take the responsibility for promoting nuclear development? We will never ever allow you to pursue such a lawsuit, an absolute nonsense." The audience expressed their agreement aloud. (By M)  Photos of the rally  Video by Labornet TV (Kamata's speech, no subtitles)  Photos of the rally and the one in front of the prime minister's office (by Shinya) 


「経産省前テントを撤去しろ」と国は東京地裁に提訴、その訴状が占有者とされた渕上太郎・正清(まさきよ)太一の両氏に4月6日送りつけられた。訴状では「明け渡し」と「1100万円の土地使用料相当損害金」の請求まで付いていた。これに対し、4月10日午後、テントひろばで緊急記者会見が開かれた。50人に及ぶメディアと支援者が集まった。テント側は「不法だというが原発事故の後始末もしないで大きな不法を行っているのは国の方ではないか」「このテントは二人の占有物ではない。脱原発を願う多くの国民・外国人の思いを反映した占有物だ」「この行動は国民主権のあたりまえの権利」などと発言。国を逆に提訴し、「脱原発テントと命を守る裁判」を開始すると発表した。また渕上テント代表は「自らテントをたたむことは絶対にない。みんなで脱原発のシンボルを守り抜こう」と訴えた。 (M) 写真速報・テント抗議声明(4/8付)・動画(LNTV 江田氏の発言など5分)動画(UPLAN 全記録90分)・TBSニュース・47NEWS *写真=「テントはわれら二人の占有物にあらず」渕上太郎さん(右)と正清太一さん(左)

国民には国の間違いを正す権利がある!~鎌田慧さん 経産省前で怒りのアピール

 その人達を国は訴え、お金まで請求している。膨大なお金を請求しなくてはならないのはあなたたち経産省ではないのか。  日本の海・山・川・空気・水、それを汚したのは誰なのだ。その補償をしないのか。原発を推進した責任は誰がとるのだ。こんなデタラメな裁判は絶対に許さない」。鎌田さんの呼びかけに聴衆からは「そうだ、そうだ」の声が湧き起こった。(M) 写真速報動画(LNTV 鎌田慧さんの訴え)写真報告「経産省前と官邸前行動」(Shinya)

Tokyo Subway Newsstand Vendors on Casual Contract Talk About Strike on Labornet TV

Three of six women vendors of Tokyo subway newsstands who went on strike in March  appeared in the labornet TV program on April 11 (see photo). "We were scared about possible negative impacts of the strike. We were shivering in fact. But we are truly happy with what we have done," they said. They work for Metro Commerce Co., a subsidiary of Tokyo Metro, on limited-term contract. After patiently negotiating with the company to improve the discriminatory conditions imposed on casual workers for years, they went on strike on March 18 in demand for abolishing the retirement age system. (For details of the epoch-making strike, see the article of April 7) "We were afraid that the customers would complain about the inconvenience caused. On the contrary, many of them encouraged us on the following day. Some said they had seen the youtube video and offered handshakes. This made us realize that many people are unsatisfied with their wages, but enduring just like us. We feel as if we had entered into the society for the first time with the strike. We are truly happy with the support extended by so many people. We feel confident and encouraged with the fact that we raised our voice and many people responded to our call," said USHIRO Ryoko, the president of the Metro Commerce local of National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu. The strike resulted in the six-month extension of the contract for SENUMA Kyoko, one of the members. "I think it is worthwhile devoting myself to the labor union movement. I will continue to make efforts for fellow members," said Senuma proudly. (By M)  Photos  Archive video of the program(no subtitles)  Video of the strike (no subtitles)   


「怖かった、足が震えた。でもたたかってよかった」。4月11日の「レイバーネットTV」に出演した東京メトロ売店で働く3人の女性は異口同音に語った(写真)。差別と切り捨てに我慢ならず6人で決行した3月18日のストライキ。日本でも画期的な非正規ストだった。後呂(うしろ)良子委員長は語る。「その翌日、お客に文句を言われるかと思った。でもちがった。動画を見たよ、と握手を求める人もいた。みんな“もっとやれ”という。そうかみんな安い賃金で我慢している人ばかりなんだ。ストライキで初めて世の中に一歩踏みだした気がした。多くの支援がうれしかった。私たちでも発信してこんな大きなことが出来るのだ。自信、力が湧いてきた」。実際、このストライキで会社は譲歩。瀬沼京子組合員の半年間の雇用延長を勝ち取った。瀬沼さんは「ユニオン活動は、人生を賭ける価値あるものと思った。これからも頑張りたい」と胸を張った。(M) 写真速報放送アーカイブ(85分 特集は8分から)3.18ストライキ映像

No Security Alarms for Children Who Need Them Most: Cartoon by Ichi-Hana-Hana

The Education Board of Machida City, Tokyo, did not provide the Korean Elementary School in the city with security alarms that are given or leased every year to the newly enrolled children of elementary schools. (Alarms are given to those going to public schools and leased free of charge to those going to private schools according to the request by the school.) The board explained that the decision was made taking into account the recent situation surrounding North Korea, but repealed it after receiving more than 500 phone calls, faxes and e-mails from citizens in protest. Following the Abe administration's decision to exclude Korean Schools from tuition-free system for high schools, many local governments suspended subsidies for Korean Schools. Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, suspended the subsidy and distributed books written by family members of a victim of abduction by North Korea to the students of Korean Schools. 
(Machida Education Board is written on the face of the man in the center. The man and woman on the right are shouting "Kick them out!" and "Hung yourselves!" The sign held by the man says "Kill Koreans." )


More Than 80 Protest "Recurrence Prevention Training" for Teachers Resisting to Kimigayo Imposition

"It was the first time for me to attend the course," said KOBAYASHI Keiko, a teacher at Tachibana High School for evening classes. "In the dark corridor of the second underground floor where the training was held, more than 10 staff of the education board were standing here and there. A woman was standing at the door of the toilet. I suspect that the purpose of the arrangement is to make us feel as if we were criminals." In March this year, six teachers working at municipal schools in Tokyo refused to stand up while Kimigayo was performed in graduation ceremony. One of them was imposed salary reduction by 10% for one month and the rest were reprimanded. In addition, they were obliged to attend "recurrence prevention training" that Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education impose on disobedient teachers every year to have them give up their thoughts. The training for the six teachers were held on April 6 in the board's teachers training center in central Tokyo. In the morning of the day, more than 80 citizens including retired teachers gathered in front of the training center to protest the punishment and show support to the six teachers. (By SASAKI Yumi)  Photos (in the full report in Japanese)    Video(YouTube) 

教員の小林恵子さん(橘高校定時制)は、「今回初めての研修だった。地下2階の暗い中をおりていくと、廊下には10数人の職員が処々に立っていて、お手洗いにいくとその前には女性の職員がいた。『おまえたちは悪いことをした』ということを感じさせたいのだと思った」と話した。東京都では、今春の卒業式で6人の教員が「君が代」不起立をし、1人が減給10分の1・1ヵ月、5人が戒告処分とされた。都は、処分だけではあきたらず毎年、再発防止研修という思想転向の強要をくりかえしている。4月6日、その研修が水道橋の東京都教職員研修センターで行われた。朝8時半、センター前には、研修への抗議と不起立教員への支援のために80名をこえる元教員や市民が集まった。(佐々木有美) 報告動画(YouTube)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Job security at ECC...coming soon??

The General Union's campaigning for job security at ECC Foreign Language Institute has seen some major changes. From this spring teachers can become seishain (permanent employee) and are also one step closer to permanent employment.

Native teachers now have the opportunity to be promoted to seishain with recommendations from their supervisors. ECC management has told the union that from March 1st, native teachers working in schools will also be eligible for seishain positions. Native teachers promoted to seishain will have to complete 10 hours of extra non-teaching duties. In the words of ECC management, "This is one big step forward". Though with only 2 native teachers (both district office workers) being promoted to seishain this spring, the General Union will pay close attention to ECC's sincerity in the promotion of actual teaching staff to seishain. ECC employees can be recommended for seishain positions by managers throughout the year with appointment starting in March, June, September and December.

Job security through seishain positions is not the only step towards permanent employment. ECC has implemented the revisions to the Labour Contract Law giving all employees the right to ask for an unlimited term contract after 5 years of continuous employment. However, ECC will not take into consideration length of service for time served before April 1st, 2013. Furthermore, management have implemented a mandatory retirement age of 60 with rather harsh re-employment guidelines.

On one hand these changes put job security on the horizon for some teachers, but in reality, new contract renewal guidelines, and unclear after 60 working conditions (for employees who don't receive company paid retirement allowances) raise many new concerns. (By General Union)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

6000 people rally against exclusion of Korean schools from tuition-free high school system

The event was held on March 31 at Tokyo’s Hibiya Park, where 6,000 people gathered to voice against exclusion of Korean schools from tuition-free high school system. The government of ABE Shinzo  revised the ministry order in order to do so. Korean schools have been disputed whether or not to be entitled for free tuition The Abe administration tried to end the ordeal and decided that it would not let them offer free tuition. Mainstream media have slowly lost interest in reporting on this issue, but the Tokyo event showed how people’s interest was rising not to exclude any schools. The students of Korean high schools and their parents have also spoken up. People representing all 10 Korean schools across the country participated in this event. By YUMOTO Masahiro

3 月31日、東京で「朝鮮学校はずしにNO!全国集会&パレード」が開催され、全国から6000名が参加し、会場の東京・日比谷野外音楽堂はぎっしり埋まっ た。安倍政権は政権発足直後、朝鮮高校を「高校無償化」から除外するための省令「改正」を行い、それまで延々と引き伸ばされてきたこの問題を最悪の形で終 わらせようと目論んだ。またマスコミも当初ほどの報道から手を引きつつある中、この集会は無償化排除を許さない新たな闘いの盛り上がりを感じさせた。この 運動をけん引してきたのは、当事者である朝鮮高校生とその親たちである。今集会でも全国の10あるすべての朝鮮高校の代表が参加した。(湯本雅典)

A company that educates people dismiss them!—Casual instructors at Ichishin cram school go on strike



 Japanese cram school, Ichishin Gakuin has reduced salary of instructors on limited-term contract, unfairly dismissed two of them and enforced retirement age of 51. Eight workers on limited-term contract went on strike on March 31 in protest of the attack from the school.
 “When my children are entering high school, I get dismissed,” one of the members of Ichishin Branch of National Union of General Workers, Tokyo Tobu, said. “Is it OK for a company that educates people to abandon people unfairly like this?” he expressed anger toward the company on the day of the strike. Although the school agreed to a collective bargaining session with the union and told the members to come this day, the shutter was closed and the staff did not intend to meet. They broke the promise. About 100 members and supporters moved their action to the main headquarters in Ichikawa City and demanded that the company abolish 51 retirement age, reinstate the two dismissed members and discrimination against instructions on limited-term contract. By Chie Matsumoto
 Photo=a union member reads demands to the company representative.

非 常勤講師の給料削減、不当解雇、51歳定年制などをはじめ、次々と非正規労働者の労働条件を削減してきた学習塾・市進学院で、3月31日、全国一般東京東 部労組の市進支部組合員8名がストライキを決行した。「子どもたちが中高に進学する時期に、解雇された」というのは、東部労組市進支部組合員のひとり。 「人を育てる会社が、こんなふうに不当に人を切っていいのか!」と、スト当日、会社に対して怒りをぶつけた。学院は、組合の申し入れに応じるとしておきな がら、当日になって入口のシャッターを閉鎖し、約束を反故にした。市川市にある本社前には、東京東部労組の組合員や支援者ら100名ほどが集まり、2名の 解雇撤回、51歳定年制の撤廃や講師の差別をやめるよう求めた。(松元ちえ) 

6000 people gather for the year anniversary of protest against restart of nuclear plants at prime minister’s residence

People chanted, “We are against restart of nuclear plants! We need no nuclear plants! Protect our children! Protect our future! Protect our homeland!” It’s been two years since March 11. The disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant is far from over. There was a blackout there just the other day. The weekly Friday protest at prime minister’s residence began in April 2012, organized by Coalition against Nukes. It was the time when the safety myth that an accident never happens was shattered and people wished for suspension of all nuclear plants in Japan and people were awaiting for the last one at Tomari, Hokkaido, to be suspended a month later in May. The previous government of Yoshihiko Noda and the Nuclear Village instigated media to promote “an end to the disaster” by declaring that the plant remains cool. This was also when the government was trying to restart Oi Nuclear Plant by saying that there would be shortage of electricity unless we restart it. On March 29, a year after all of these ordeals, 6,000 people gathered in front of prime minister’s residence as every other Friday.


This protest was one of a few events commemorating a year anniversary of the nuclear disaster. On March 23, 7000 people got together in Fukushima City.
 “Human rights, peace and safe environment are necessary to lead a decent life,” said Munenori Yoshioka, a Buddhist monk in Fukushima, one of the event organizers. “The nuclear disaster destroyed beautiful Fukushima and pulled people apart. Neither the government nor Tokyo Electric Power Company even tries to take responsibility of what happened. We cannot let them go free or should never forget about Fukushima.”
 Another organizer, Shiro Igarashi, added that Fukushima people’s hope is to decommission all nuclear plants in Fukushima. We have the responsibility to create radiation-free future, he said.
In the meantime, the Anti-Nuclear Plant tent was facing an eviction order issued by the government. Having acted as the center piece of anti-nuclear movement in Japan, the tent was surrounded by hundreds of people who wanted to protect the tent on March 22.
 “I evacuated to Tokyo with whatever I had at the time,” Sachiko Kameya from Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, said at the rally. “I had no one I could talk to, but I found this tent and people who are here. They helped me stand on my own feet again. Talking to them made me realize that I had to do something. That’s when I decided to take part in the protest at the prime minister’s residence.
 The government has something else it needs to remove, and that’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Don’t restart other plants. I don’t want other people to experience this tragedy like we dd. The tent saved me, and so it’s our turn now to save the tent. By Shinya,Ko Kokutetsu and M.  
 Photo=Sachiko Kameya speaks at the tent.

再 稼働反対!原発いらない!子どもを守ろう!未来を守ろう!ふるさと守ろう! 3.11から2年が過ぎた。福島第一原発の事故は収束どころか、先日の停電=電源喪失という悪夢再来に肝を冷やされた。冷やすのは核燃料にして欲しい。首 都圏反原発連合が呼びかけた毎週金曜夜の官邸前抗議行動。始まったのは2012年4月。福島原発事故が「事故は絶対に起こらない」という「安全神話」を崩 壊させ、フクシマに自らのふる里を見た人々が日本のすべての原発の停止を願い、最後の一機、泊原発5月停止を固唾を呑んで待っていたときだ。野田前政権と 原子力ムラが「冷温停止状態」などと急ごしらえの事故「収束宣言」をマスコミに宣伝させ、「電力が足りない」と大飯原発を再稼働させようとしていたとき だ。それから一年、3月29日の官邸前には6千人が参加した。(Shinya) 
 「原発のない福島を!県民大集会」が3月23日、福島市・あづま総合体育館に7000人(主催者発表)を集めて行 われました。会場1階を福島県内からの参加者が、2階を県外参加者が埋め尽くしました。はじめに、呼びかけ人として吉岡棟憲さん(曹洞宗・円通寺住職)が 「人間らしく生きるためには人権・平和・環境が必要だが、原発事故は美しい福島を破壊し人々を引き裂いた。国・東電は責任をとろうともせず事故の風化を 狙っているが決して認められない」と挨拶しました。続いて、五十嵐史郎・実行委員長が「私たち福島県民の願いは福島原発の全基廃炉であり、私たちには放射 能のない未来を作る責任がある」として、県民の意志を結集するための場として今日の大会を成功させようと呼びかけました。(黒鉄好) 
 3月22日夕方、経産省前テントひろばは数百人の人々でごった返した。16時からの「あおぞら放送」そして17時 からは、国のテント撤去を許さない抗議集会が開かれた。双葉町から避難した亀屋幸子さんはこう語った。「原発事故で着の身着のまま東京・港区に逃げてき た。でも知っている人も話す人もいなかった。その時テントと巡り会い、立ち直ることができた。そこでいろいろ話をするなかで“自分もやらなくちゃ”と思う ようになり、毎週金曜デモに来るようになった。いまテントの撤去が言われているが、国はその前にやることがあるはず。福島第一原発の撤去を先にして下さ い。再稼働はやめて下さい。私たちの苦しみを二度と誰にも味あわせたくないのです。テントは私を救ってくれた。みなさん、一緒にテントを守りましょう」。 必死の訴えに大きな拍手が起きた。(M)