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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 February 4 - 10  > Favorable response to Shii’s call for Diet testimony by big business
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2009 February 4 - 10 [ECONOMY]

Favorable response to Shii’s call for Diet testimony by big business

February 9, 2009
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo’s call for top Japanese business leaders to be summoned to testify before the House of Representatives Budget Committee was hailed by many people as a timely request.

Amid the sweeping layoffs of contingent workers by large corporations, Shii used his question time at the House of Representatives Budget Committee on February 4 to propose that the Diet subpoena Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) officials as well as representatives of Toyota Motor Corp., Canon Inc., and Panasonic to answer questions regarding the burning issue of employment.

During the questioning session, the government admitted that the Worker Dispatch Law as a matter of principle forbids employers from replacing full-time workers with contingent workers and that the maximum three years permitted for the use of contingent workers is derived from this principle.

The government also stated that a temporary worker’s period of employment should include intervals created deliberately by the employer in order to avoid having to comply with the “three-year” rule.

Large corporations in the past used temporary workers under the guise of independent contractors so that they can evade the requirement to offer them full-time positions at the end of three years of services.

Now that even the government has admitted that it is illegal for companies to use such a trick, large corporations have the obligation to directly employ them now. It is also against the law for the employer to lay them off.

The JCP main office has received e-mail messages saying: “These illegal methods of making workers work are found at plants everywhere in Japan.” “Please stop the dismissals of dispatched workers.” “A Prime Minister who says he won’t meddle in individual corporate affairs can’t be expected to manage the situation.”

The House of Representatives Budget Committee is to have an intensive discussion on jobs on February 9. JBF President Mitarai Fujio reportedly refused to appear because the date is inconvenient. The JCP called on the budget committee to summon him by all means after adjusting the schedule.

Diet history shows that the Diet in 1974 summoned 23 executives of large corporations to the Diet when such corporations took advantage of the oil crisis and made enormous profits from hoarding and opportunistic price hikes.
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