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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 September 12 - 18  > Staffing agency-dispatched day laborers to get unemployment allowances
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2007 September 12 - 18 [LABOR]

Staffing agency-dispatched day laborers to get unemployment allowances

September 15, 2007
Yielding to workers’ demands, the Labor Ministry has decided to extend the unemployment insurance coverage to day laborers dispatched from staffing agencies.

Today, the number of such day workers is estimated at about one million. Since the liberalization of temporary labor in 1999, the number has rapidly increased, drawing attention to an increase in social disparities and poverty.

The Labor Ministry has kept day laborers dispatched from staffing agencies out of the unemployment insurance coverage on the grounds that those workers are working only to earn temporary income.

Those workers have demanded unemployment insurance to be applied to them as an important social safety net.

When Fullcast, a major staffing agency, suspended its operations in August due to the authority’s order, many temporary workers lost their jobs without any compensation.

The ministry also conducted research on the realities of such day laborers and found that they are working not for temporary income and many such workers are making a living by seeking jobs through more than one staffing agency.

The Japanese Communist Party in the Diet has urged the government to extend the coverage of unemployment and other social insurances to those temporary workers as well as to increase stable job opportunities. When Fullcast suspended its business, the JCP made representations to the ministry requesting it to consider setting up a system to grant the workers compensation for their loss.

Commenting on the Labor Ministry’s decision to extend the coverage, JCP House of Councilors member Koike Akira said, “The ministry’s move is one step forward for workers. However, this is the minimal measure, and many more measures need to be taken. Above all, the government must stop deregulations that will bring about an increase in unstable jobs and prohibit staffing agencies from dispatching workers on short-term contract bases, including day laborers.
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