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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 November 7 - 13  > Vietnamese trainee experiences violence at host company
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2018 November 7 - 13 [LABOR]

Vietnamese trainee experiences violence at host company

November 10, 2018

A Vietnamese man, who is working in Japan under the foreign trainee program, said, “My boss bullied me constantly at work.” He describes how he was treated by the company president in a document submitted to the labor inspection authority.

The man came to Japan in June 2016 to obtain welding skills under the Industrial Trainee and Intern Program. However, he was assigned to a job separating garbage at an industrial waste disposal plant.

At the workplace, the Vietnamese man was physically abused by the president of the plant operator. He said that the boss behaved high-handedly toward him and repeatedly slapped him on the head. He endured this violence from his boss as foreign trainees cannot choose where to work or live.

As months went by, the boss became even more cruel to the man and repeatedly abused him by kicking him and hitting him. In May 2018, when the Vietnamese worker was working on a high place, the president, driving a shovel loader, suddenly moved the vehicle towards him. The shovel hit the Vietnamese on the back of his shoulder, causing him to fall down. Hearing his cry of “Help me! The president is killing me!”, his co-workers rushed to help him.

The Vietnamese worker was taken by ambulance to a hospital and was hospitalized for two months, including two days in an emergency room. His left shoulder blade was broken and the grip of his left hand has yet to recover its full strength despite extensive rehabilitation.

Experts believe that cases involving violence are not rare. Currently, around 300,000 foreign trainees are working in Japan, which is roughly one-fourth of 1.28 million foreign workers in the country. Government data shows that between January and June this year alone, 1,586 foreign trainees working in the construction industry ran away from their employers due to abuse and mistreatment. The government claims that these trainees fled mainly because of excessively low wages. However, Aichi Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions head Kurematsu Saichi, who supports foreign trainees, suspected that some of the disappearances were due to physical abuses.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t proposes bill to accept more foreign workers without addressing existing human rights violations [November 3, 2018]
> JCP meets with bar association lawyers over the issue of foreign workers in Japan [October 31, 2018]
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