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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 January 18 - 24  > Labor bureau instructs KEPCO president to stop forcing workers to work long hours
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2017 January 18 - 24 [LABOR]

Labor bureau instructs KEPCO president to stop forcing workers to work long hours

January 23, 2017
The Fukui Labor Bureau in early January summoned Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) President Iwane Shigeki to the office and handed over its notification demanding that the company properly record the working hours of all KEPCO workers, including those in managerial positions.

KEPCO was investigated by the labor bureau in regard to a case where a male worker in his 40s, in April 2016, committed suicide after working excessively long hours to help obtain the approval for the extended use of the aged Takahama nuclear power plant.

At the power company, long working hours and unpaid overtime were common practices.

In June 2005, following the labor law enforcement authority’s recommendation, the company paid to 11,000 workers, or 54% of the KEPCO workforce, a total of 2.3 billion yen in back pay for overtime work.

On January 17, the labor law authority again gave the company a recommendation to pay unpaid overtime to six workers.

After the summoning of the KEPCO president and the recommendations regarding overtime without pay handed over, a KEPCO office in Kyoto instructed senior staff to carry out their responsibility of managing their people’s work hours more accurately than before.

In many KEPCO offices, workers gave nodded to each other, saying, “KEPCO’s practice of long working hours got yellow cards,” and “We might be able to leave the office earlier.”

Past related article:
> Gov’t’s plan to restart NPPs causes suicide from overwork: JCP Takahashi [October 22, 2016]
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