Zenroren- and Rengo-affiliated telecom workers unions join forces against NTT restructuring plan

In a bid to block a mass corporate restructuring Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) is planning to implement, Zenroren- and Rengo-affiliated telecom workers unions together held an urgent meeting on June 30 and July 1 in Kyoto City.

NTT, Japan's largest telecom group, has unveiled restructuring plans that include a personnel cut by 100,000 in the next three years. Workers 50 or older will be forced to retire early to be rehired with about 20-30 percent less wages than what they receive until their true retirement.

Speaking on behalf of the organizers, Iwasaki Shun, president of the Telecommunication Industry Workers' Union affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), said that such a way of personnel cuts and reemployment violates the labor agreement and the office regulations.

He called on the 180 participants from throughout Japan to let the public and all NTT workers know about this outrageous restructuring plan in order to protect telecommunication services for the people as well as NTT workers' jobs and rights.

During the discussion time, a participant reported that the more workers know about the restructuring plan the more they get angry, and another one expressed his determination to form a national consensus that it will not allowed for a leading company like NTT to dismiss workers using such mean measures.

Zenroren Vice-President Kumagai Kanemichi in Zenroren's national meeting to oppose restructuring and call for job security in Tokyo on July 4 said that it has become very important to struggle against unemployment to ensure jobs now that the government is encouraging corporate restructuring and the Koizumi Cabinet is pushing forward with the plan to dispose of all bad loans.

He called on meeting participants to concentrate their energies on the struggle to block the NTT restructuring plan.

He said that Zenroren will make efforts to get labor-management agreements signed which state that prior consultations and the worker's consent is necessary for dismissal, and to get working rules established so that overtime without pay is controlled.

He said that Zenroren will help the parties and groups which support the demands of Zenroren and workers make advances in the House of Councilors election. (end)