Judge says Nestle Japan's worker transfer orders are invalid

Major food and beverage maker Nestle Japan was told by a court that it cannot transfer its employees to distant plant locations in disregard of workers' need to take care of family members.

The Kobe District Court on November 14 upheld the demand of two workers, who are union members, that the court issue an injunction order against their transfer orders on the grounds that they have family members who need their care.

The court said that the transfer orders to the two workers amount to an abuse of authority that "forces them to accept intolerable disadvantages beyond levels that are socially acceptable."

The two workers were working at the Himeji plant of Nestle Japan in western Japan. In May, the company announced it will stop operations at the Himeji plant. As a result, 49 employees quit the company and nine agreed to work at the Kasumigaura plant in the north of Tokyo.

In June, the two workers asked the court to protect their position as Nestle Japan employees and order the company to pay them wages.

Commenting on the court order, Takeshima Kenji, the lawyer for the two workers, said, "This court decision is very significant in that it sets a precedent for other court struggles against forced worker transfers." (end)

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