Increased number of workers contact Zenroren for counseling

The number of workers who seek advice or help from National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)-affiliated prefectural federations about their jobs is increasing rapidly.

In 2001, as an unprecedented number of workers were affected by rampant corporate restructuring, 8,709 work-related cases were brought in, which is a 34 percent increase from 2000.

About 30 percent of those cases concerned dismissals or early (forced) retirement and 20 percent were about wages or unpaid overtime work.

Replacement of regular workers with part-time and other contingent workers is one of the biggest problems for workers.

About 30 percent of callers said they found a Zenroren-affiliated prefectural union office in the telephone directory.

The Hokkaido Federation of Trade Unions helped a man (who was fired on the grounds that he talks back to his superior) to be reinstated in one day.

There was a case in which a local labor relations office in the Kanto region recommended that a worker to go to the Zenroren-affiliated prefectural federation of trade unions.

In 432 counselings (4.9 percent), union advice led to setting up trade unions or joining unions. Zenroren is planning to set up permanent labor consultation offices at every regional federation. (end)