Labor disputes involving discrimination settled at 3 NKK plants
In NKK, Japan's second largest steelmaker, workers and management have
agreed on settling labor disputes from the 1980s or 1990s at three plants.
At Keihin Steel Mill in Kawasaki City (Kanagawa Prefecture) , the company
admitted that it carried out an unfair labor practice by using a foreman,
who was not a union member, to intervene in the union election to prevent
the election of 19 workers.
The local Labor Relations Commission turned down the 19 workers'
complaint. After their lawsuit was rejected by the Tokyo High Court and the
Supreme Court, the worker plaintiffs have been negotiating with the company.
It took nine years to reach a settlement.
At the NKK Tsurumi plant, the plaintiffs were 20 middle-aged workers who
refused the agreement reached between the company and the union on a 10
percent pay cut for all workers 55 and older.
The Yokohama District Court rejected the workers' claim, but in a
negotiation without mediators, the company agreed to pay the difference as
well as some settlement money.
At the NKK Shimizu plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, four workers and the
company reached an out-of-court settlement after a 15-year court struggle.
In 1986, 428 workers were sacked after they declined to accept transfer
In their lawsuit calling for reinstatement, the four were defeated in the
first and second judgements. The final Supreme Court-mediated settlement was
reached in August with the company agreeing to pay some settlement money.