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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 9 - 15  > 30 years of joint struggle of Nippon Steel workers and JCP wins extra pay for attending meetings between shifts
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2008 January 9 - 15 [LABOR]

30 years of joint struggle of Nippon Steel workers and JCP wins extra pay for attending meetings between shifts

January 13, 2008
More than 30 years of joint struggles of workers and the JCP committee at the Nippon Steel Corporation Nagoya Works have won extra pay for meetings workers are required to attend between shifts.

Shift workers attend the meetings twice a day, when they punch in and punch out. The meetings takes a few minutes or more depending on the day’s conditions.

The company agreed to pay workers for every minute of attendance at the meetingss in addition to the shift allowance.

In the case of a 50-year-old worker, the amount of monthly extra pay will be 12,000 yen.

The JCP committee at the Nippon Steel Corporation Nagoya Works has received favorable comments from many workers. A worker said, “I will be able to collect 300,000 yen in back pay for up to two years.” Another worker said, “I hope you will achieve more in the Spring Struggle.”

The struggle for extra payment for workers attending the meetingss between shifts began in 1997 when a JCP representative raised the issue in the Diet. Government officials admitted that attending the meetings held between shifts should be compensated as extra work-time. But the company continued to ignore the government view for many years on the grounds that “compensation for the meetings is included in the shift allowance and participation is not required but voluntary.”

In cooperation with the JCP Dietmembers Group, the JCP committee at the Nippon Steel Nagoya Works took their demand as well as workplace safety issues to the local Labor Standards Office.

The JCP committee’s bulletin distributed at the plant has helped to increase the struggle. It has been published four or five times a year, funded by workers’ donations, and distributed to about 60 percent of the workers at the Nagoya Works at various locations such as the plant’s bus stop, the workers’ apartment buildings, and the industrial park itself.

The Labor Standards Office instructed the company to count the minutes required to attend the meetings between shifts as work-time, adding that the shift allowance must be distinguished from overtime pay.

Accepting the instruction, the company last October began to make extra payments for the meetings between shifts.
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