JCP branch at MMC opposes plant closure

Mitsubishi Motor Corporation (MMC) on June 16 announced that it will close its Okazaki plant in Aichi Prefecture in FY 2005, a year earlier than initially planned.

Akahata on June 23 pointed out that the plant closure is another MMC failure to fulfill its social responsibility in addition to its cover-ups of car defects and covert recalls. Closing down the plant is part of MMC's corporate restructuring that includes a 5 percent wage cut and no payments of year-end bonuses.

The Japanese Communist Party branch at the MMC Nagoya plant is now developing a struggle to prevent the MMC group from shifting the burden of its failure on to the workers and subcontractors.

The Okazaki plant has about 1,800 assembly line workers, including those who were transferred from another Nagoya plant closed in 2001. Under the MMC restructuring plan, the 1,800 workers are to be transferred to the Okayama and Gifu plants. For workers who have housing loans, it is an unrealistic plan. Many are thus obliged to quit by unwillingly accepting a 40 percent cut in the retirement lump sum payment.

The Mitsubishi Motors Workers' Union has accepted the company's restructuring plan and supports a Democratic Party of Japan candidate for the House of Councilors election.

The JCP branch at the MMC plant says that the difficulty for the company stems mainly from the corporate policy of putting corporate profits before social responsibility and partly from the union's failure to constrain such an outrage. In an effort to advance the JCP policy of creating a society in which the economy is put under certain regulations, the branch delivers workplace news to workers and advise workers how to respond to the company's restructuring orders.

In her publicity action in Okazaki City, Hatta Hiroko, JCP House of Councilors member who heads a team on MMC problems, has called for an end to MMC's bad corporate habit of concealing anything inconvenient to the company. She said that MMC must not force workers and subcontractors to pay the costs for the scandal-ridden management. (end)

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