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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 16 - 22  > Dismissal of whistleblower for poor tunneling withdrawn
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2008 April 16 - 22 [LABOR]

Dismissal of whistleblower for poor tunneling withdrawn

April 18, 2008
A construction worker in Kochi City, who was disciplinarily dismissed, nominally for negligence but in reality for being a whistleblower exposing the company’s slipshod tunneling methods, reached an agreement with the employer on April 17 that the dismissal order would be withdrawn and that he would quit.

In a meeting with his supporters on the same day, the worker, 46, said, “Being a site foreman, I couldn’t overlook the corner-cutting.”

The All Japan Construction, Transport, and General Workers’ Union that has supported the worker’s struggle, stated, “We are glad that the company has been forced to withdraw the unjustifiable dismissal of a whistleblower.”

The tunnel was for an expressway in Nagano Prefecture. A Mitsubishi-affiliated construction company was awarded the contract, but the construction was subcontracted out to Todoroki-gumi for which the site foreman was working. Having detected that the concrete inside the tunnel lacked the required thickness, he reported it to the general contractor in September 2006.

However, the tunneling was completed without any amendments, and the foreman was dismissed in November 2007, ostensibly for “absence without notice.” The highway corporation, the tunnel customer, was aware that the cement lacked the required thickness and had gaps in it.
- Akahata, April 18, 2008
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