Japan Press Weekly
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Unionized non-regular workers receive full-time position
Unionized contract workers have won full-time positions at a psychiatric hospital in Kochi City.
In April, gSeikaenh psychiatric hospital gave full-time positions to all 50 assistant nurses on fixed-term contracts who had wished to work as full-time workers.
Assistant nurses in this hospital have been paid only 6,400 yen a day, even after 10 years of service. Due to the huge wage gap with regular nurses, many contract employees have quit their jobs within three years.
In 2004, the hospital announced a plan to transfer assistant nurses and other contract workers to a staffing agency. Many of them, including 42 assistant nurses, joined the union affiliated with the Kochi Prefectural Federation of Medical Workersf Unions and struggled against the plan and succeeded in forcing the hospital to withdraw it.
The union members continued to demand that the employer reduce unstable employment. After a change in its executive officers, the hospital decided to offer contract workers full-time positions.
This union struggle will attract the attention of workers at other medical and welfare institutions nationwide where more than half of the workers are thinking of quitting their jobs due to harsh work conditions. - Akahata, May 2, 2008
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