JCP steel company branch reaches out to workers

A worker of JFE, Japan's largest steel and engineering corporation, called the Japanese Communist Party Central Committee, saying, "I wan to subscribe to Akahata because it criticizes the Iraq war and the increase in patients' share of payments for medical treatment." Over the phone, he said he decided to read Akahata after reading an extra of Akahata distributed at the steel company's plant gate.

This is a result of the Japanese Communist Party JFE branches' day-to-day activities to secure a JCP victory in the simultaneous local elections to be held on April 13 and 27.

JFE is a holding company established through a management integration of NKK and Kawasaki Steel Corporation. This was part of the corporate restructuring process that has shredded the workforce by more than 30 percent and increased outsourcing.

As the simultaneous local elections approached, JCP branch members in JFE reached out to their co-workers by delivering reference materials on JCP candidates. In addition to these visits, they made phone calls to win a larger support for JCP candidates. JCP members used these occasions to call on the workers to support the JCP position demanding a halt to the war and an immediate withdrawal of U.S. and British forces from Iraq. As part of this effort, the JCP branch made representations to the company president calling on him to express opposition to the war.

The company union has worked hard in support of candidates supported by the company or the union, although these candidates include one from the Komei Party which publicly denounces the anti-war movement for benefiting the enemy.

In January, JCP branch members began visiting all co-workers and retired workers. Contrary to their expectations that many workers may refuse to listen to the JCP, many workers agreed to join the JCP Supporters' Association. During this campaign, former middle managers who used to refuse to read Akahata became subscribers.

JCP branch members realized that most workers are in agreement with what the JCP calls for in regard to opposing the Iraq war and the increased share of burden for medical costs. (end)

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