67 companies pay 1.5 billion yen in back pay for overtime

67 companies in Tokyo have complied with a Tokyo Labor Bureau instruction and paid 1.5 billion yen to about 15,000 workers for unpaid overtime work.

A non-life insurance company paid 310 million yen to its 6,865 employees, the largest amount among the 67 firms.

The average amount of back pay was about 100,000 yen, and the highest amount was 2.34 million yen.

Eighteen out of the 67 companies were supermarkets, department stores, and other retailers as well as wholesalers. Nine financial companies and nine manufacturing companies also compiled.

Article 37 of the Labor Standards Law prohibits employers from having employees engage in overtime work without pay.

As workers' struggles against unpaid overtime work increased, the Japanese Communist Party from time to time raised questions in parliament about prevalent illegal labor practices.

As a result, the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry in April 2001 finally issued a directive to local labor standards inspections offices to strengthen guidance aimed at eliminating unpaid overtime work. (end)