Sumitomo Metal urged to withdraw illegal instruction

The Japanese Communist Party Committee at Sumitomo Metal Industries (SMI) Wakayama Works has successfully urged the company to recall a "manual" actually instructing workers to take less paid vacations.

A company manual which became known about last May called on each section chief to compel workers to use compensatory days instead of paid vacations. It called on employees to do overtime work of not more than 3 hours a month, and if exceeding 7 hours a month, he/she should take extra paid holidays, introducing a new labor policy to reduce the labor costs.

Similar material was found at a SMI subsidiary, indicating that it is a policy of the entire Sumitomo group.

Another policy is to urge workers to take extra paid holidays once a month (12 days a year) at half wages. These labor policies made it more difficult for workers to take paid holidays than ever before.

Workers and the JCP committee at SMI-Wakayama charged the company's illegal labor management with the Labor Standards Inspection Office in Wakayama City, which later instructed the company to withdraw the direction.

Watanabe Tadahiro, Wakayama City Assembly member (JCP) and SMI worker, said, "This is a big gain for the workers. We want to make this a step so that workers will be able to take paid holidays more easily." (end)