Auto workers report harsh situations in workplaces

Amid the global realignment of the automobile industry, Japanese car makers are imposing greater sacrifices on their workers and local economies.

Fifty workers and union activists of Japan's car industry on June 16 and 17 gathered in Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture to report worsening work conditions.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) plans to do away with 9,500 personnel and close an assembly plant in Nagoya City. Although the management's lack of moral ethics was exposed in car recalls which had been long hidden, MMC neglects skill and safety measures and pursues further cost cutting through restructuring.

Isuzu will cut its personnel by 9,700 and close an assembly line in Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture. The management insists that Isuzu trucks be produced in cheap labor countries.

In April, the Ministry of Welfare and Labor sent an administrative circular calling for the elimination of illegal unpaid overtime work, but executives of Toyoda Machinery Corp. hold meetings to seek loopholes.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. forces its assembly workers to work on holidays based on a plan for 560-hours of overtime work a year. Nissan is now on the way toward cutting its employees by 21,000 and closing five plants.

At Mazda Motor Corp., while the management disturbs union activities, labor grievances accusing lawless Mazda are coming to the union one after another. At the end of last year, Mazda announced that it will reduce 1,800 personnel and close an assembly line in Hiroshima Prefecture. (end)