Airline workers' refusal to comply with orders under contingency laws punishable: Cabinet deputy chief

A senior government official stated that airline companies can penalize their employees' refusal to comply with government orders under the contingency laws without violating the Constitution.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe Shinzo said this in response to questioning by Japanese Communist Party member Matsumoto Zenmei during a House of Representatives committee meeting on May 9 .

Matsumoto asked: "Wouldn't it be a violation of the Constitution's Article 19 if airlines punish employees who refuse to cooperate with their companies for safety reasons?" He was referring to a recent government statement that the contingency laws would be invoked in response to armed attacks that may follow a U.S. ultimatum or threat of preemptive attack.

Abe said that the government will consider including airlines in the list of organizations that will be subject to national mobilization orders in the event of emergencies. "I don't think it is unconstitutional for airline companies to punish employees for refusing to cooperate in complying with orders in the event of war," he added.

Abe stated,"The government demands that public entities designated as corporate organizations, not individual employees, implement measures taken (in the event of emergencies). If employees in such circumstances refuse to work based on their personal belief, their employers can deal with such refusal under their bylaws." (end)

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