500 workers demand Nestle retract unfair dismissals

More than 500 workers of Switzerland-based multinational corporation Nestle on May 25 held a rally in Kobe City in Hyogo Prefecture to encourage three workers who were sacked for no justifiable reasons.

The dismissed workers, Koyama Kazuyoshi, Kurita Shin'ichi, and Tomita Shin'ichi, of the Kasumigaura plant in Ibaraki Prefecture told participants that they will not give up their struggle until the company withdraws their dismissals.

The reason the company gave for the dismissals of the three workers was what it calls walkouts to take part in the union's protest actions.

The company also tried to accuse the workers of "acts of violence" (which was the company's fabrication), but this case was settled when the public prosecutors said they found no evidence of such allegations.

Azefu Kazutaka, secretary of the Hyogo Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Hyogo-roren), said, "At issue is the need for regulations on dismissals. The Nestle workers' struggle is representative of all Japanese workers' concerns." He said Nestle is ignoring the 1995 Supreme Court decision which ordered the company to recognize its workers' rights to union activities and collective bargaining.

So far, labor relations commissions and courts of justice across Japan have convicted Nestle in more than 60 cases of unfair labor practices and violations of human rights. (end)