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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 August 22 - 28  > Temp agency’s business suspension causes day laborers to lose jobs without compensation
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2007 August 22 - 28 [LABOR]

Temp agency’s business suspension causes day laborers to lose jobs without compensation

August 18, 2007
A week has passed since Fullcast, a major staffing agency, was ordered by the Tokyo Labor Bureau to suspend its businesses. Now that half of about 12,000 temporary workers (per day) registered at the company are expected to lose their jobs, it is crucial to establish a system to compensate them for their job loss and help secure their employment.

Fullcast was ordered to shut down its business from August 10 for two months at its three offices in Kobe City and for one month at 313 offices nationwide due to its continuation of illegal labor practices even after the authority instructed the agency to correct them.

The company explained that while workers who have been continuously dispatched to particular companies can keep working during the suspension period, those who are sent for various short-term work on a daily basis, called “spot-dispatch,” cannot be offered new jobs during the period.

A temporary worker living in Kawasaki City, who has worked for warehouses and moving companies as a “spot-dispatch” worker through Fullcast, said, “I work every day and receive only about 150,000 yen a month. But if I lose those jobs, I cannot make a living.”

Even temporary workers, if they work on a long-term contract basis, are eligible to receive more than 60 percent of their wage as a loss of income compensation when work become unavailable due to the employers’ fault. If they are dismissed, they can still receive unemployment benefits until they find a new job.

The unemployment insurance also covers day laborers, and if those laborers work more than 26 days in two months, they may receive 4,100-7,500 yen a day while unemployed.

However, the Labor Ministry has kept those day laborers dispatched from staffing agencies out of the coverage of the unemployment insurance. In February, the ministry rejected Fullcast’s application for coverage in the unemployment insurance.

With the deregulation in staffing businesses in 1999, the number of temporary workers working on the daily basis has rapidly increased. Today, it is estimated that one million workers are working under the designation of “spot-dispatch.”

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Koike Akira in the Diet on March 15 demanded that the government conduct research on those day laborers and take necessary measures, including providing them with the coverage of unemployment and social insurance.

On August 10, the JCP made representations to the Labor Ministry, requesting it to immediately investigate the conditions of workers who would lose their jobs due to Fullcast’s business suspension, appoint officials with whom those workers can consult at public employment security offices, and immediately consider setting up an unemployment insurance system covering day laborers dispatched by staffing agencies. - Akahata, August 18, 2007
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