Osaka Labor Bureau raids textile maker for discriminative labor treatment against JCP members

The Osaka Labor B ureau has searched the Osaka-based major textile maker Kurabo Industries Ltd., on suspicion of discriminating against two workers who are Japanese Communist Party members, in clear violation of the Labor Standards Law.

It is very unusual for the labor bureau to search a firm over discrimination against individual workers.

Akahata on July 29 reported that the labor bureau officers had several times searched Kurabo offices, including the head office and the former Kurabo president's house, since January and questioned dozens of persons.

Ito Tateo and Miyazaki Shukichi have been discriminated against for more than 25 years on the grounds that they are JCP members.

Kurabo forced the two workers to do chores such as garbage disposal, weeding, and gutter cleaning, and ordered them to stay in a vinyl-made small room. The company also forced the two men to work outside of the company for more than 20 years.

In May 2003, the Osaka District Court ruled that discriminatory treatment against workers based on their creed and thought is unconstitutional and ordered Kurabo to pay 51 million yen in compensation. Kurabo, however, appealed to a higher court.

The Osaka Labor Bureau, after this ruling, accepted a complaint filed by the two workers calling for a severe penalty to be applied to Kurabo, and stepped up its investigation of the company as it showed no intention to correct its discriminatory labor policies.

Miyazaki said, "We want to establish freedom and democracy in our workplace and regain our honor." (end)

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