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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 27 - March 4  > JCP chair’s questioning sends shudders through Canon management
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2008 February 27 - March 4 TOP3 [LABOR]

JCP chair’s questioning sends shudders through Canon management

March 2, 2008
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a House of Representatives committee meeting called for Canon President Mitarai Fujio to be summoned over the company’s inappropriate practice of replacing full-time employees with temporary workers.

The questioning by Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in the Diet took leading optical maker Canon Inc. management by surprise.

At the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on February 8, the JCP chair demanded that Canon President Mitarai Fujio be summoned to answer questions at the committee meeting about the company’s inappropriate practice of replacing full-time employees with temporary workers.

“The company is on nervous,” said a Canon employee. He is one of the Canon employees in a managerial positions who was ordered by the company to watch the video of the Shii questioning distributed on the Internet by YouTube.

The Shii questioning focused on a 100-percent Canon-owned subsidiary, Nagahama Canon Inc., a maker of photocopier toner cartridges in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture.

Pointing out that only 4 out of 19 workers per assembly line are regular workers at this plant, Shii denounced Canon for constantly using temps in place of full-time workers even though the use of temporary workers is allowed only for contingent purposes.

Shii demanded that Canon President Mitarai, who has extensively promoted such replacements, be summoned to testify before the Diet.

Shortly after the Shii questioning, Nagahama Canon began recruiting a number of regular workers with much better working conditions than those of temporary workers.

A man who worked as a temporary worker at Nagahama Canon said, “Workers, who used to be without public insurance programs, are delighted to now be enrolled in the social insurance programs.”

In the wake of the Shii’s questioning, parent company Canon also issued a directive to reduce the number of temporary workers and directly employ 5,000 workers from among temporary workers at Canon group companies in Japan by the end of this year, including many full-time workers.
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