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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 21 - 27  > Child-rearing flight attendants win suit against JAL’s pay cuts
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2007 March 21 - 27 TOP3 [LABOR]

Child-rearing flight attendants win suit against JAL’s pay cuts

March 27, 2007
One plaintiff said, “This is the court struggle to seek JAL’s corporate responsibility over working mothers.” Another said, “This case shows that companies like JAL regard workers who applied for night shift exemption as useless employees and force them to quit.”

The Tokyo District Court on March 26 ordered Japan Airlines International Co. to pay wages for work it took away from four flight attendants while they were exempted from night shifts to take care of their children.

While accepting the request for night shift exemption that the plaintiffs made based on the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law, the company provided them with only one or two duty shifts a month and regarded their off duty days as days without pay. As a result, many cabin attendants have given up applying for night shift exemption in order to make a living, and many well-trained staff members were compelled to quit.

The ruling pointed out that the company had rejected the plaintiffs’ willingness to provide their services. It said that JAL could give them about 10 days of duty a month because it has given such amount of duties to members of JALFIO, a JAL labor union affiliated to the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) with which the company made an agreement that off-duty days are considered as days without pay.

Surrounded by many of their colleagues, the plaintiffs held a press conference. Muranaka Yoshimi, a mother of a five-year-old girl, said, “This is the court struggle to seek JAL’s corporate responsibility over working mothers.” Yasui Sumiko, who was forced to quit, said, “This case shows that companies like JAL regard workers who applied for night shift exemption as useless employees and force them to quit.”
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