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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 November 25 - December 1  > IBM Japan surrenders in lawsuit over unjust wage cuts
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2015 November 25 - December 1 [LABOR]

IBM Japan surrenders in lawsuit over unjust wage cuts

November 28, 2015
In a lawsuit filed by IBM workers to demand court recognition of the company’s unilateral wage cuts as illegal, IBM Japan fully accepted the plaintiffs’ claims and agreed to issue a cognitive note which is tantamount to finalization of the court’s decision in favor of the plaintiffs. The All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers’ Union (JMIU) on November 27 announced this turn of events at a press conference.

IBM Japan in 2010 unilaterally added a clause concerning wage cuts to its rules of employment. In 2013, using this clause, the company imposed 10%-15% pay cuts on workers who were in the bottom 15% in terms of relative performance evaluations. However, even the Labor Standards Act puts a 10% cap on pay cuts as a form of disciplinary punishment.

In September 2013, among IBM workers whose wages were unjustly reduced, nine workers, who are members of JMIU IBM Japan branch, filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court, claiming that the company’s wage cut policy is illegal and demanding payment of reduced earnings in back pay.

At the press conference held at the Labor Ministry office building, one of the plaintiffs, Torii Minoru said, “The company had cut my wages four times totaling more than five million yen. Such big pay cuts made it difficult for me to maintain my standard of living. The company appears to use the pay cut policy as a tool in corporate restructuring.”

JMIU Secretary General Miki Ryoichi said, “It is significant that IBM Japan admitted to the illegality of its pay-cut policy.”

Past related articles:
> Union presence helps IBM workers resist unfair dismissals [January 8, 2015]
> Another union member sues IBM Japan for ‘lockout’ dismissal [July 5, 2014]
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