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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 30 - February 5  > Nestlé Japan infringes on union leader’s human rights
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2008 January 30 - February 5 [LABOR]

Nestlé Japan infringes on union leader’s human rights

February 2, 2008
At Nestlé Japan, a subsidiary of a Swiss-based multinational food manufacturer, employees in managerial posts are coercing a union leader to quit the company.

Kurimura Shin’ichi, the leader of the Nestlé Japan Labor Union which is affiliated to the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), returned to work after the Supreme Court in 2006 invalidated his dismissal by recognizing the case as an abuse of power by the company.

However, almost every day since last September, dozens of managerial staff and officials of another union accost Kurimura immediately after work hours and yell at him, “Leave the company!”

They sometimes take new employees to see Kurimura and say to them, “Keep Kurimura in mind. Don’t behave like him.”

Kurimura and his union have repeatedly demanded that they stop bullying him, for such actions violate his human rights, and filed a complaint at the Legal Affairs Bureau.

More than 20 years ago, the company intervened in the union and split it up to establish a union obedient to the company. Since then, the company has been engaged in unfair labor practices against the first union and forced its members to quit unjustifiably.

In the Diet, Japanese Communist Party Lower House member Kasai Akira in June 2007 criticized the company for violating the OECD guideline requiring multinationals to respect the rights of labor unions. In reply to Kasai, the Foreign Ministry stated, “The ministry is attaching importance to the guideline and is making efforts to have concerned companies comply with it.”
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