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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 5 - 11  > Isuzu Motor workers angered by 1,500-job cut plan
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2008 March 5 - 11 [LABOR]

Isuzu Motor workers angered by 1,500-job cut plan

March 5, 2008
Fixed-term workers at Isuzu Motor Ltd. are enraged by the company’s decision to dismiss them even though they are so busy that they are forced to work overtime almost everyday.

It was made known on March 4 that Isuzu plans to terminate fixed-term workers’ employment contracts at the end of March, apparently for the purpose of evading obligation to offer them full-time positions after 35 months of service.

Under the plan, 1,500 fixed-term workers’ contracts will not be renewed.

In 2006, Isuzu directly hired 1,500 workers on fixed-term contracts ostensibly to end its use of contingent workers in the disguise of “independent contractors”.

But contracts of fixed term workers have been renewed every 2–3 months, making workers feel insecure.

The reason Isuzu gave for the dismissals is that the office regulation provides that fixed-contractors can be hired up to 35 months. The fact is, however, most fixed-term workers do not know of the rule.

Isuzu workers, joined by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira and JCP member of the House of Representatives Shiokawa Tetsuya, on March 4 made representations to the Labor Ministry, urging the government to order Isuzu to cancel its job cut plan and continue to employ them and offer them full-time positions.

The JCP Dietmembers pointed out that the former Labor Minister had stated that employers have the obligation to offer long-term employment instead of renewing short-term contracts. “The Isuzu Motor plan goes against the ministry’s policy for ensuring stable employment. The ministry should provide guidance to Isuzu.”

While stating that there is no legal reason for stopping the job cut plan, the ministry officials promised to investigate the matter. They said to the petitioners, “If Isuzu has withheld office regulation information from the workers, it is a violation of the Labor Standards Law. Isuzu’s attitude is socially unacceptable if it recruits new hires while refusing to renew contracts with the existing workers.”
- Akahata, March 5, 2008
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