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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 May 15 - 21  > JCP Yamashita points to UNIQLO as example of ‘black corporation’
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2013 May 15 - 21 TOP3 [LABOR]

JCP Yamashita points to UNIQLO as example of ‘black corporation’

May 15, 2013
A Japanese Communist Party lawmaker, by citing major clothing retailer UNIQLO as an example of ruthless employers exploiting “disposable” workers, demanded that the government make public the names of so-called “black corporations”.

JCP Yamashita Yoshiki on May 14 at a House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting reported that UNIQLO hires a large number of new graduates and whips them into accepting long hours of intensive work, in some cases by means of power harassment. He criticized this practice for driving many young workers into emotional and mental distress which in turn forces them to give up their jobs.

Yamashita introduced a case of one UNIQLO employee in his 20s who became a shop manager only six months after he joined the company where more than 50% of employees quit jobs in three years and 42% of on-leave employees are reportedly suffering emotional or mental disorders. There, he worked exceptionally hard to achieve the sales goal while managing the work shifts of shop staff under him. Three months after becoming a shop manager, he left UNIQLO due to suffering from depression.

Even Prime Minister Abe Shinzo had to admit, “To hire employees requires business owners to be responsible for fostering human resources.”

Yamashita said that the state should release the names of companies with a high employee turnover rate and should require them to indicate the rate of resignations in their recruitment information.

Regarding the further deregulation of labor laws that the Abe Cabinet is considering, Yamashita pointed out that it will lead to an increase in non-regular employment and drive full-time workers into harsher competition as replaceable labor.

Further labor deregulation includes liberalization of dismissals and overtime work without pay, said Yamashita and added, “What the government is proposing will increase the numbers of so-called ‘black corporations’ which will be able to operate with impunity.”

Yamashita said, “A society which allows corporations to use up and throw away young workers for the sake of short-term profits has no future. You should cancel the plan to further ease labor rules.”

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