Machine tool maker agrees to revoke dismissals

The management of Ikegai Corporation, a medium-sized machine tool maker, on March 29 agreed to revoke the dismissal of workers at the Yokohama District Court.

Ikegai Corporation asked for court protection against creditors in February last year. At the time, the management told its employees that all 550 workers would be dismissed and that 120 of them would be rehired as yearly contract workers. The company said that it was unable to pay them the severance money it was legally obliged to pay.

Supported by many other unions including the National Confederation of Trade Unions, the Ikegai branch of the All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers' Union (JMIU) fought against the dismissals.

The settlement states that the management withdraws the decision of dismissals of union members and rehire 15 of them who wish to keep working. It also orders the management to pay the workers all entitlements and to establish a joint committee of the management and the union for rebuilding the company.

The union leader said, "It was a difficult suit, but the settlement has been made possible by support from throughout the country. Based on this struggle, we are going to work to reconstruct the company and improve our working conditions." (end)