Workers of Toyota Motors parts supplier get 170 million yen in back pay for overtime

Aisin Seiki, Co., Ltd., an automobile parts maker for Toyota Motor Corporation in Kariya City, Aichi Prefecture, last December paid a total of 170 million yen (1.5 million US dollars) to about 2,000 workers on the grounds that the workers worked overtime but were not paid appropriately.

Both the number of workers and the amount paid were the record among the companies which have recently given back pay to workers. The biggest amount a worker received was about one million yen for 400 hours of overtime work in the past six months.

After the payment was made, Japanese Communist Party Aisin Seiki Branch members published a newsletter and handed copies to workers in front of the company head office to inform them of this good news.

A worker in a design section said, "The amount is tremendous. As neither the company nor the trade union has told us about this, the JCP's newsletter is very helpful for us to know about the settlement. Many of us are reading it carefully."

The newsletter said that workers' complaints about overtime without pay at Labor Standards Inspection Offices, combined with JCP Dietmembers' questioning in and proposal of a draft law for ending unpaid overtime to the Diet, pushed the company into paying the back pay.

As Toyota Motors has kept up a good business performance, Aisin Seiki (with 10,800 employees) has continued operating many of its plants around the clock. Due to a labor shortage, workers have had to work long hours, even on Christmas Eve, without pay.

The back pay was only for the past six months, but under the law workers can be paid for overtime they have done in the past two years, and many are demanding full payment.

At one of the plants, when the manager gave workers their back pay, he forced the workers to sign a written pledge promising not to claim any more back pay. Such a dirty trick is stirring up workers' anger. (end)