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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 14 - 20  > JCP publishes 3-pillar urgent proposal for decent work rules
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2007 March 14 - 20 TOP3 [LABOR]

JCP publishes 3-pillar urgent proposal for decent work rules

March 16, 2007
JCP Chair Shii criticized labor-related government bills submitted to the current session of the Diet for further pushing for deregulations and thereby destroying humane work rules.

In a situation in which the employment and labor system has become a major social problem in Japan, the Japanese Communist Party on March 15 published a three-pillar urgent proposal entitled, “It is high time to establish work rules enabling workers to work with human dignity.”

At a news conference held in the Diet Building, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo criticized labor-related government bills submitted to the current session of the Diet for further pushing for deregulations and thereby destroying humane work rules.

As its first pillar, the JCP proposed that Japan’s extraordinary long working hours should be redressed.

Shii demanded that the government refrain from submitting bills to introduce a “white-collar exemption” system that will force workers to work longer hours without overtime pay.

Although a total of 85.1 billion yen had been paid to workers in back pay during the past five years, overtime work without pay is still practiced widely, Shii pointed out. He proposed that companies deeply involved in such a practice be named publicly and be penalized for their wrongdoings.

Shii called for legally capping the yearly overtime at 360 hours as well as revising existing laws to increase the overtime premium pay to time and a half from the present time and a quarter of the normal hourly wage and to ensure a break period of at least 11 consecutive hours between shifts.

The second pillar is to force companies to abandon using workers as disposable labor.

Stressing that non-regular employment is a major cause of the increase in the “working poor,” Shii demanded that companies involved in illegal disguised contract labor employ those workers as regular workers without attaching conditions and that those companies should be penalized.

Shii also proposed that the staffing of temporary workers may be allowed only in case of temporary needs, that the repetition of short-term labor contracts be restricted, and that the supplying of temporary workers as day laborers be restricted.

As the third pillar, Shii calls for a drastic increase in the minimum wage and the establishment of a nationwide uniform minimum wage system.

He claimed, “This urgent proposal is the minimum required to solve such problems as excessively long working hours, the ‘working poor,’ and poverty.”
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