Workers want Toyota Motor to accept social responsibility

"Fulfill corporate social responsibility!" Voices of 1,500 workers resounded throughout a factory of Toyota Motor Corporation, the giant carmaker that earned a net profit of one trillion yen last year while cutting the wages of its workers.

Participants, including former Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Hatta Hiroko, marched in demonstration through Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture, calling for part of the benefits to be passed along to the local economy and workers' wages.

A production-line worker complained, "We are forced to work standing more than 14 hours a day, and some workers on the line died from overwork." He resolved to take action to improve conditions of his workplace in solidarity with other workers.

Prior to this action, a symposium took place on the previous day in Nagoya City to question Toyota's social responsibility.

Panelists pointed out that Toyota's policy to curb pay increases is leading other companies to also restrain from raising workers' wages, and criticized Toyota for disagreeing with the "Global Compact" called by the United Nations for practical use of collective bargaining rights although more than 2,000 large companies in the world agreed.

In Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on February 11, about 300 workers took part in a rally to press Suzuki Motor Corporation, a leading mini-vehicle manufacturers, to fulfill its social responsibility.

In front of the Suzuki headquarters, workers who are discriminated against because they are JCP members distributed flyers in opposition to Suzuki's discrimination in wages and ideology.

They marched in demonstration around the Suzuki headquarters, chanting, "Only a decent workplace can produce safe cars," "Longer working hours lead to more deaths" and "Stop discriminating against JCP members in wages!" (end)

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