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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 January 19 - 25  > 146 JAL workers file suit against their dismissals
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2011 January 19 - 25 TOP3 [LABOR]

146 JAL workers file suit against their dismissals

January 20, 2011
One hundred and forty-six ex-Japan Airlines workers on January 19 filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court for reinstatement to their jobs. The plaintiffs include 74 pilots and 72 cabin attendants, amounting to 88% of the 165 workers who were dismissed as of December 31, 2010 without the company satisfying the four requirements for legitimate dismissals.

On the day, 260 people, including the plaintiffs group and supporters, gathered in front of the court building. In a news conference after the filing of the suit, Chikamura Kazuya, chair of the Japan Federation of Aviation Workers’ Unions (Kokuren), said that the illegal dismissals are unacceptable and a threat to safe aviation.

Pilot and head of the plaintiffs group Yamaguchi Hiroya held the government responsible for forcing JAL to buy 113 jumbo jets under U.S. pressure and constructing unprofitable local airports. He also blamed JAL for regarding workers only in relation to costs, without much concern for safety and skills.

Uchida Taeko, a cabin attendant, expressed that the court struggle is also for those who cannot join the plaintiffs group.

JAL in Apr.-Nov. 2010 made a profit of 146 billion yen, far greater than the anticipated annual goal. Moreover, its nomination of those to be dismissed is unjustifiable because those nominated were either veterans with a lot of experience, those who had to be absent from work for health reasons in order to meet aviation safety standards, or those who were active in trade unions.

About 300 people gathered at a meeting held in Tokyo on the evening of January 19 to encourage the plaintiffs. The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) President Daikoku Sakuji said at the meeting, “What we are witnessing is the self-centered greed of big business and the weak-kneed government being submissive in meeting their demands. Let’s get JAL, a typical big business entity, to assume its social responsibility for safe public air transport.”
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