End corporate restructuring violating labor laws -- Akahata editorial,
October 21, 2001
On-going corporate restructuring and worker dismissals by major
corporations are carried out in violation of the present labor laws and
labor contracts between management and unions.
Under the Labor Standards Law, it is a crime for a company not to pay
The law also makes it obligatory for corporations to give employees paid
holidays, under penalty of imprisonment or fine.
Under a storm of corporate restructuring and worker dismissals in which
production schedules are based on the outrageous assumption that workers'
paid holidays can be reduced, the percentage of paid holidays actually taken
is falling. As of January 1, 2001, the rate was 49.5 percent, for the first
time going below 50 percent. A trial calculation shows that more than 1.1
million jobs will be created if workers take all paid holidays.
It is intolerable that corporations pursue restructuring based on the
illegal premise that they can ignore their obligations to pay overtime work
and secure annual paid holidays for employees, workers' basic rights
established by the Labor Standards Law.
For a company to dismiss workers at a certain age, fifty for example, and
have an affiliate company hire them at lower wages violates Article 4 of
the Employment Security Act for Aged People, which states that retirement
must not be forced on workers under the age of 60.
It is also against the principles laid down in the Labor Standards Law if
a corporation imposes lower wages and worse working conditions after a
workers' place of work is changed. The law forbids changing working
conditions to workers' disadvantage without their consent.
However, illegal labor practices are being protested against by the
increasing movement of workers and trade unions denouncing inadequate
working conditions and calling for job security.
Japanese Communist Party branches in private corporations are working to
check on illegal practices and restructuring, under the slogan "Apply rules
to the workplace." They are also demanding that the government establish
rules to defend jobs.
Major corporations are not given unlimited authority to do what they like
to pursue profits. They also have a social responsibility to defend jobs for
workers by abiding by the labor laws.
The government as a law-enforcing body must fulfill the following
obligations: force corporations to follow the present laws, case laws, and
labor contracts as the minimal rules against illegal restructuring
practices, and demand corporations review their restructuring plans so that
an adequate workforce will be secured without overtime work and that all
workers fully take their paid annual holidays. (end)