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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 February 4 - 10  > Shii says ministers’ responses to his questions can be used as a step to further struggle
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2009 February 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Shii says ministers’ responses to his questions can be used as a step to further struggle

February 5, 2009
At a news conference after the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on February 4, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said Prime Minister Aso Taro’s responses to his questions can be used as a step for the further struggle on the job issue.

He pointed out that the prime minister had no choice but to admit that the mass layoffs of temporary workers are “illegal” and “extraordinary” in the face of concrete cases thrust upon him.

However, he also said, “Prime Minister Aso is reluctant to promise to take measures to end the ongoing mass dismissals of temporary and other contingent workers.”

Referring to Aso’s refusal to admit that the present “massive job cuts” are a “disaster” caused by misgovernment, Shii said, “Only by sincerely accepting responsibility for the political failure, will it be possible to address this issue realistically.”

Shii said, “It is very significant that Labor Minister Masuzoe Yoichi stated that if an employer uses the so-called ‘cooling-off period’ system (to hire temporary workers as ‘independent contractors’ in order to avoid having to offer temporary workers full-time positions after the three years legally permitted for the use of temporary workers), the cooling-off period “should be counted as years of service as a temporary worker.”

“It is important to keep on fighting. I will use these government responses as a step to further our struggles,” Shii added.

*The “cooling-off period” system is the time period of more than three months and one day in which employers do not accept the same temporary workers. The Worker Dispatch Law obliges employers to directly hire those who work as temporary workers for more than three years, but with this cooling-off period being sandwiched between three years and another three years, they are not regarded as continuous temporary workers. Therefore, in order to get around the law, many employers use this cooling-off period and repeat using workers as temps.
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