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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 14 - 20  > Cabin crew union urges Labor Ministry to instruct KLM to comply with Japan’s labor law
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2018 February 14 - 20 [LABOR]

Cabin crew union urges Labor Ministry to instruct KLM to comply with Japan’s labor law

February 15, 2018
Delegates of the Japan Cabin Crew Union (JCU) on February 14 urged the Labor Ministry to instruct KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to not dismiss Japanese contract cabin attendants who have been employed for more than five years and to abide by Japan’s Labor Contract Law.

Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Councilors Yamashita Yoshiki and Yamazoe Taku accompanied the delegates of the union which organizes independent workers employed as cabin crew with foreign airlines and low-cost carriers.

The Dutch national flag carrier has in place employment rules which place a five-year limit on contract periods for the airline’s Japan-based contract cabin crew. It is obvious that the airline company adopted this rule for the purpose of evading the Labor Contract Act which enables fixed-term contract workers with over five years of employment to obtain open-ended employment contracts.

In the meeting with the Labor Ministry, JCU Vice Chair Suwa Yukio referred to the fact that when the union filed with the Tokyo Labor Bureau complaints against KLM on this matter, the bureau said that it saw no problem with the KLM labor practices. The union official asked the Labor Ministry whether it accepts the bureau’s position.

JCP Upper House representative Yamashita said, “To gain experience is essential for flight attendants in order to ensure safe flights. However, the Dutch airline company, with the aim of escaping its legal obligations, closed the door for contract cabin staff to gain a contract of indefinite duration. Such an act is unacceptable.”

JCP Upper House representative Yamazoe demanded that the ministry instruct KLM not to fire contract workers.

A Labor Ministry official in reply showed disagreement with the labor bureau’s position and said that the ministry will properly deal with this issue.

After the petitioning, unionized cabin attendants said, “I almost gave up fighting against the company. But today’s action restored some hope to me,” “I’ll work hard to have KLM provide open-ended contracts to all contract cabin staff so that flight attendants can continue to work without the added stress of job insecurity.”

Past related articles:
> Trade minister promises JCP Tamura not to allow JETRO to evade labor law [February 2, 2018]
> JCP lawmakers to gov't: Don't allow employers to circumvent labor law [January 25, 2018]
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