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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 13 - 19  > ILO advises Japan to grant basic labor rights to government employees
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2018 June 13 - 19 TOP3 [LABOR]

ILO advises Japan to grant basic labor rights to government employees

June 15, 2018

The International Labor Organization (ILO) recently issued a recommendation stating that Japanese government workers should be granted basic labor rights and that the right to organize by firefighters and prison officers should be accepted. This is the 11th ILO recommendation to Japan in this regard.

The ILO advised the Japanese government to negotiate with labor for a goal of establishing autonomous labor-management relations and giving fire-defense personnel and prison staff the right to organize their unions. Furthermore, the UN agency which deals specifically with labor issues called on Japan to draw up action plan with timetable based on the results of the labor talks.

Following the ILO recommendation, Japan’s two major national trade union centers - the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) - and the Zenroren-affiliated Japan Federation of National Public Service Employees’ Unions (Kokkororen) published statements.

Zenroren in its statement urged that in response to the ILO recommendation, the government hold negotiations with relevant unions in order to develop an action policy.

The Kokkororen statement referred to a meeting with the ILO International Standards Department deputy director and other ILO officials in Tokyo in April. In the meeting, Kokkororen pointed out that the government has been unwilling to discuss with the union the issue of government workers’ basic labor rights. It also cited the fact that the National Personnel Agency has failed to fulfill its function of improving public servants’ working conditions, even though it was established to compensate for government workers being prohibited from exercising their labor rights. The union requested the ILO officials to give the government instructions on these matters in addition to the issue of poor working conditions of public-sector non-regular workers.

Kokkororen in its statement valued the ILO recommendation for taking into consideration what the union said in the April meeting and demanded that the government fully restore to public sector workers their rights guaranteed under Constitution and the International Labor Standards.

The Rengo statement also welcomed the ILO recommendation. Rengo urged the government to take the ILO advice seriously, expressing its determination to work hard to establish a democratic and transparent personnel system for civil servants.

Past related articles:
> National gov’t workers suffer pay cuts while having no right to collective bargaining [ February 24, 2012]
> Gov’t still refuses to give public workers the right to strike [April 6, 2011]
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