July 23, 2012
Posters designed by the Japanese Communist Party to support workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have drawn favorable attention.
The JCP Iwaki and Futaba District Committee in Fukushima Prefecture created the posters and put them up in areas where the plant workers come and go. They read, “Are you receiving hazardous duty pay?” “Can you take a rest during working hours?” “Prioritizing cutting costs in dealing with the accident is unacceptable.”
Iwaki City Assembly member of the JCP Watanabe Hiroyuki has listened to the workers’ requests and given them advice following the nuclear accident. What the posters point to come from these activities listening to the workers involved.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster has not come to an end. Some 2,000 to 3,000 people are now working at the plant every day. Most of them are from subcontractors of the plant operator, essentially working as day laborers without being covered by any social insurance.
Complaints from the workers include such examples as: while working in an environment with high levels of radioactivity, workers are paid no hazardous duty allowance because all the money is skimmed off; when suffering from heatstroke, they have to pay doctor’s fees out of their own pockets; and the plant management is very careless about radiation exposure control.
Watanabe revealed these facts in and out of the assembly. He also directly negotiated with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), making the company promise to pay the total amount of hazardous duty pay to the workers without fail.
Seeing the posters, a skilled worker said to Watanabe, “That’s really something. These posters have encouraged us. The posters are putting pressure on TEPCO to carry out their promises, too.”
The JCP assemblyman says, “It is impossible to end the crisis by using and then throwing away smaller businesses and their workers. I will work together with more nuclear plant workers to improve their situation.”