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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 30 - February 5  > Top court determines punishment of ex-union leader to be illegal
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2019 January 30 - February 5 [LABOR]

Top court determines punishment of ex-union leader to be illegal

January 30, 2019
The reversal of a disciplinary action taken against a former union leader whom his company had castigated due to his Akahata interview, was finalized at the Supreme Court, Akahata learned on January 29.

Yagihashi Kiyotomo, an employee of local bus operator Teisan-Konan-Kotsu (Shiga Pref.), testified in an Akahata interview in 2014 about the excessive long working hours and mistreatment of non-regular workers at his workplace. In August of the same year, Akahata ran a story about poor working conditions at the bus company.

Yagihashi later received a disciplinary punishment of a 10-day suspension on the grounds that he damaged the company's credibility.

Yagihashi in April 2015 filed a lawsuit. The Osaka High Court in July 2018 annulled the punishment, recognizing that the Akahata report on excessive working hours was factual and that Yagihashi's interview with Akahata served the common good. Teisan-Konan-Kotsu appealed this decision to a higher court, but the top court turned down the appeal and so the victory in court of the plaintiff was determined.

Yagihashi said, "It was good to have been able to reveal the long-hours work imposed by the company. My struggle in court has enforced my belief that we workers must speak up when we can."

Past related articles:
> Ex-leader of a local bus workers' union wins in court [July 3, 2018]
> Local bus service operator works drivers hard and outsources its service [August 22, 2014]
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