IBM Japan employees win reinstatement

Four employees of IBM Japan, Ltd. who had refused to accept a forced transfer to a subsidiary, have defeated the company's attempt to kick them out.

In a court-mediated settlement on May 29, the Japanese subsidiary of the world's largest multinational computer manufacturer agreed to reinstate the four workers.

The employees are union members of the IBM Japan branch of the All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers' Union (JMIU).

The four, who had been at the general affairs sections of the company's Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka branches, were complaining that the company made them work in a subsidiary company's basement to do miscellaneous work to deter workers' resistance.

In 1994 the management planned company restructuring aimed at slashing one-fourth of the 21,000 personnel. As part of this plan, the general affairs sections were spun off and employees 55 or older were ordered to move to the new subsidiary company. Once they accepted the order and changed their company affiliation, IBM Japan carried out a 45-percent wage cut on them.

The four workers and the union filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court demanding that the management transfer order be invalidated.

Following the settlement, three of the four employees will be returned to their previous positions. The fourth has already retired. (end)

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