JAL workers hold demonstration for safe flights

About 200 pilots, crew members and other workers of Japan Airlines (JAL) on April 10 marched in demonstration through a business district in Tokyo calling for flight safety and workers' health to be secured.

The Liaison Council of Five JAL Unions organized the demonstration to put pressure on the Tokyo High Court to uphold a lower court decision supporting the JAL Flight Crew Union in the lawsuit the union filed in 1993 against JAL management. The high court was holding the trial on the day.

Under the JAL management's tough labor policy, pilots on the Tokyo-San Francisco route have to work for about 11 hours without a break, and due to cuts in the number of ground crew members, maintenance failures have increased dramatically.

The Tokyo District Court in November 1999 ruled that the imposition of longer working hours on JAL pilots was illegal and might threaten navigation safety. Defying the court order to shorten pilot's working hours, JAL management appealed to a high court.

Hashiba Toshiaki, Liaison Council secretary general, in the demonstration said, "We want to let citizens know the reality about how insecure JAL flights have been. We'll further push the company to take steps for safe flights." (end)