Zenroren resolves to make all-out efforts to prevent constitutional revision

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), a national trade union center in Japan, held its 21st biennial congress July 28-30 in Tokyo and resolved to make an all-out effort to prevent the Constitution from being adversely revised as an urgent task, along with efforts to defend jobs and living conditions.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi gave a speech on behalf of the JCP, commending the role played by Zenroren in firmly standing for the principles of the trade union movement and in achieving workers' demands.

Referring to Zenroren's national united strike as part of this year's Spring Struggle in opposition to the pension "reform" bill, Ichida said that the action contributed to promoting people's interests, peace and democracy. "The presence and activities of Zenroren are being felt more than ever."

The action program adopted after a two-day discussion emphasizes the need to make even greater efforts to develop grassroots actions in every place of work and community to defend peace and living conditions, block the adverse revision of the Constitution that the two major parties (ruling Liberal Democratic Party and opposition Democratic Party of Japan) are promoting, and further increase Zenroren's organizational strength.

Zenroren is seen as a reliable defender of workers' rights against government and corporate attacks at a time when the government is rushing to ease regulations to allow employers to force white-collar workers to work without regard for the 8-hour day rule, increase part-time and other unstable jobs, thus arousing public anger at corporate restructuring and wage cuts.

Pointing out how harmful a "two-party" system is, Zenroren President Kumagai Kanemichi in his speech said that Zenroren is to make all-out efforts to prevent constitutional revision as "the most important political battle in Japan since the end of WWII."

A delegate from the General Federation of Cinema and Theatrical Workers Union of Japan (Eien Soren) expressed his resolve to increase their struggles in opposition to constitutional revision, learning from the bitter experience of cinema and drama workers suppression of their freedom of expression during WWII.

A delegate from Nara Prefecture reported that his prefectural federation last year received 450 calls from workers seeking advice to solve their work-related problems and that they helped settle many cases, including dismissals and supported bereaved families of workers who died from overwork.

Kumagai Kanemichi was reelected as Zenroren president and Ban'nai Mitsuo as Zenroren secretary general.

At a news conference following the congress, Zenroren President Kumagai said, "I will continuously make efforts to draw all 1.3 million Zenroren members' strength to put the new action program into practice."

Zenroren marks its 15th founding anniversary this autumn, (end)

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