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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 2 - 8  > Secure labor adequate to meet Olympic stadium’s construction deadline: JCP
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2017 August 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Secure labor adequate to meet Olympic stadium’s construction deadline: JCP

August 2, 2017
Several Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers on August 1 met with relevant government officials in the Lower House members’ office building in order to find out about the actual working conditions, including working hours and safety measures, at a construction site of the 2020 Olympic stadium.

Long working hours have become a social issue regarding the construction of the new National Stadium. A 23-year-old site supervisor this year committed suicide from overwork (karoshi) whose case is pending in labor inspection authorities.

The JCP lawmakers directly told persons in charge from the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Land, the Sports Agency, and the commissioning entity of this public construction, the Japan Sport Council (JSC) to secure human resources adequate to meet construction deadlines.

The group of JCP legislators included JCP Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko (Upper House), Miyamoto Toru (Lower House), Ikeuchi Saori (LH), and Yamazoe Taku (UH).

In regard to working hours, a JSC official said that a Taisei Corporation subcontractor, the employer of the deceased worker, is responsible for supervising work hours. The official added, “Through Taisei Corporation, the JSC instructs Taisei’s subcontractors to conduct labor management appropriately.”

JCP Tamura asked if the JSC ever surveyed how each company handles the number of hours its workers actually work. The official answered that it has not looked into the working hours of the employees.

Tamura criticized the JSC for neglecting to grasp the matter and asked if any checking systems exist. A labor bureaucrat in response said that the ministry is currently conducting surveys at 800 subcontractors engaged in the stadium construction.

Tamura again asked if the JSC really thinks that the current schedule is feasible. The JSC official’s answer was “yes”. However, JCP Yamazoe pointed out that the very tight construction schedule has caused the tragic death of the site foreman.

The JSC representative said in response that the construction work starts at 8 a.m. and finishes at 6 p.m., but the situation was such that around-the-clock clerical work was possible inside the crew stations. His answer reveals that the JSC has been leaving every aspect of personnel administration to Taisei Corporation.

* * *

Long working hours at Olympic-related construction sites banned by TOC

Akahata on August 1 learned that the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOC) set rules for ensuring decent working conditions such as a ban on long working hours.

The TOC has regulations called the Sustainable Sourcing Code, stipulating items that all suppliers should abide by. Based on the Olympic Charter calling for “sustainable development”, the TOC made this Code.

The Code prohibits suppliers from setting “illegally long work hours for workers” or setting “long work hours that cause damage to workers’ health and welfare”. Suppliers and licensees should encourage their supply chains to comply with the Soucring Code.

Past related article:
> Worker committed suicide due to overwork associated with construction of 2020 Olympic stadium[July 21, 2017]
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