Worker's upper back pain recognized as work-related

In Osaka, the labor authorities have overturned the Osaka Labor Standards Bureau's decision and recognized the upper back pain experienced by a former worker at a major electric appliance producer is work-related.

The 62-year-old woman worker is now eligible for compensation for the illness.

She was on a yearly contract with Matsushita Electric Industry Company for 32 years, where she worked on an assembly line at one of Matsushita's plants in Osaka. When she turned 60, she began to have upper back pain and believed that it was caused by work she did at the Matsushita plant.

With the help from the Osaka Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and local unions she applied for a certificate.

As the reason for the rejection of the Labor Standards Bureau, he cited the following three items: the woman since her fifties had psychological stress because the management every year tried to force her to quit; she was on intense labor on the assembly line resulting in physical and psychological pain; and she was affected by the repeated monotonous action for many years. (end)