Legislation of new work rules will accelerate corporate restructuring -- Akahata editorial, April 12, 2005 (abridged)

A labor ministry study group has compiled an interim report in preparation for legislation of new rules on labor contracts on recruitments, transfers, and termination of employment.

A set of new rules, separate from the Labor Standards Law, will become law to gut workers' rights.

Making dismissals easier

For example, under the law, even if a court decides that a dismissal is invalid, the company can keep excluding the worker from its workforce and settle the matter with money. Enabling employers to throw out employees with some token of monetary compensation will make dismissals easier, although the Labor Standards Law prohibits dismissals without justifiable reasons.

Also, the new rules provide companies a right to change working conditions and dismiss workers who refuse to accept the changes. Anyone who disagrees with the change or dismissal will have to fight it out in court, the new rule proposes. Forcing workers to file lawsuits for a reversal of dismissals is as same as giving legitimacy to unjustifiable corporate restructuring scheme.

The new rules suggest that working hours for while-collars be voluntarily decided by labor-management agreements so that employers can make employees work without overtime pay.

Why does the government want to legislate new rules on labor contracts? It's because business circles are trying to increase their international competitiveness in order to yield more profits by eliminating regulations and worsening working conditions as much as possible.

For everyone to work without anxieties

The worker is in a weak position because he/she cannot live without being hired by a company. That's why the Labor Standards Law is there to defend workers' rights.

Large corporations are worsening working conditions and conducting massive cost-cutting restructuring that includes worker transfers and forcing them to voluntarily quit their jobs. The need is to regulate such an unfair practice and establish a rule in which workers can work without undue anxieties. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.