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JMIU calls for establishment of foreign workersf right to work


   In pursuit of stable living conditions of foreign workers by establishing their right to work, the All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workersf Union (JMIU) on April 15 held for the first time the Foreign Workers Assembly in Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture.


   After the assembly, 150 participants, including Brazilian workers and their family members, marched in demonstration through the city, calling for the elimination of discrimination against foreign workers.


   In the meeting, JMIU President Ikuma Shigemi said, gImprovement in the working conditions of foreign workers will also lead to better working conditions for Japanese workers.h


   Concerning the actual working conditions of many foreign workers, Francisco Freitas, a JMIU regional branch executive committee member, said that with their employersf illegal use of gdisguised contract laborh they are forced to work under harsh working conditions for very low wages, and without social insurances or overtime allowance.


   A JMIU-affiliated union secretary, who is also a Brazilian, reported that his union had lodged a complaint about the gdisguised contract laborh with the Shizuoka Labor Bureau and that all 74 workers won direct employment as well as an improvement in their hourly wages, including an end to the discriminatory wage system, through collective bargaining with the company. Stressing that struggles can make working conditions better, he called on other foreign workers to join the union.


   The Brazilian Embassy in Japan sent a message to the assembly. Representatives from the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), Shizuoka Prefectural Council of Trade Unions, and an NPO working to support foreigners were also present.                     - Akahata, April 17, 2007


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