District labor commission rules printing company's transfer of union leader to be illegal

The District Labor Relations Commission of Kanagawa Prefecture on August
10 ruled that the transfer of a union leader by a printing company in
Yokohama City was illegal, saying that it amounts to unfair labor practice
designed to weaken the union.

The labor relations commission ordered Keihin Insatsu Company to
reinstate Kitamura Tatsuhiko, a union leader, to his former position and to
make up his loss of wages caused by the transfer.

The company in 1998 adversely revised its work rules to subject workers
at age 56 or older to a 30 percent wage cut at maximum.

Kitamura set up a union affiliated with the National Federation of
Printing and Publishing Industry Workers' Unions (Zen'in Soren). The company
transferred him to cut off his influence, refused to enter collective
bargaining, and ordered him to be on standby at home.

The district labor relations commission stated that all these actions
amounted to unfair labor practices by intervening in union activities, and
ordered the company to pup the correction in writing. (end)