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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 2 - 8  > Union fighting against illegal dismissals of temps at NTT
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2008 April 2 - 8 [LABOR]

Union fighting against illegal dismissals of temps at NTT

April 8, 2008
Temporary workers who were dismissed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) group companies are joining the Tele-Communication Workers’ Union and demanding that the telecom giant revoke the termination of their employment and directly employ them in compliance with the Worker Dispatch Law.

It has been revealed that NTT group companies are using illegal methods of employment, such as hiring independent contractors in disguise and temporary workers from a staffing agency via another staffing agency. This is precisely the methods NTT has used to cut costs by replacing full-time employees with temporary workers. The NTT group’s 200,000 employees include 90,000 temporary and other non-full-time workers.

In the case of NTT COMWARE WEST CORPORATION, one of the NTT-WEST affiliates, part of its work has been outsourced to an NTT group company, TelWel West Nippon Corporation, which also uses temporary workers from another staffing agency.

NTT COMMUNICATIONS has outsourced its work to another group company, NTT WEST-KANSAI CORPORATION that uses temporary workers from another staffing agency.

In 2007, when Japan’s major corporations were criticized for using temporary workers in the guise of independent contractors, NTT COMMUNICATIONS replaced temporary workers with employees under direct employment. However, they are still in danger of being dismissed.

On April 7, the Telecommunication Workers’ Union (TCWU) petitioned the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, demanding that the ministry supervise NTT-WEST to revoke its refusal to directly employ a worker who had been a temporary worker there for six years. This worker was fired after she filed a complaint with the local Labor Bureau.

A labor ministry official told the union that it will investigate the allegation and take the necessary steps.

The NTT group has carried out corporate restructuring to cut 110,000 full-time jobs and outsourced most of its key jobs, including the directory service, to subsidiary firms that use temporary workers. Both the subsidiary firms and the staffing agencies were established by NTT.

The union, TCWU, has been struggling to end the illegal labor practices and improve contracts and working conditions.

The union took up a case of a worker who was dismissed in 2007 after working four years as a temporary worker at the collective bargaining talks with an NTT group company and succeeded in forcing the firm to withdraw the dismissal and to pay him unpaid wages in back pay with a premium.

The union is also demanding that NTT group companies stop arbitrary dismissals of fixed-term employees and offer them full-time positions.
- Akahata, April 8, 2008
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