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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 28 - March 6  > Labor ministry to instruct firms using ‘disguised contract workers’ to directly employ them
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2007 February 28 - March 6 TOP3 [LABOR]

Labor ministry to instruct firms using ‘disguised contract workers’ to directly employ them

February 28, 2007
This constitutes a major achievement for workers’ struggles and the efforts that the JCP made in the Diet demanding that corporations put an end to their illegal practice of “disguised contract labor” and directly employ temporary workers.

Starting on March 1, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will instruct manufacturing corporations using “disguised contract workers” to directly employ them instead of changing their status into temporary workers dispatched by staffing agencies.

The ministry on February 27 notified Japanese Communist Party Dietmember Koike Akira of this new policy.

This constitutes a major achievement for workers’ struggles and the efforts that the JCP made in the Diet demanding that corporations put an end to their illegal practice of “disguised contract labor” and directly employ temporary workers.

In March 2004, a ban on using temporary workers in the manufacturing industry was lifted. Since then, corporations have widely adopted the illegal practice to disguise temporary workers as subcontractors’ staff because corporations are required to offer their temporary workers direct employment if corporations continue to use them for more than one year.

The Labor Ministry, however, has failed to instruct these corporations to abide by the law.

The ministry informed Koike that it will no longer allow such changes on the grounds that in March the term of labor lease will be extended from one year to three years, and that the system will be fully implemented.

Commenting on this policy change, JCP Koike said, “The ministry’s policy to not allow changing workers’ status to temporary workers marks an advance.” Stressing the need to thoroughly implement the policy, he requested the ministry to make it widely known not only to corporations but to the workers and the general public.

In order to evade responsibility to directly hire workers, major manufacturers, including Canon, have widely used the dirty trick of changing their status to temporary workers.

Since corporations can no longer continue this, Mitarai Fujio, Canon chairman and Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) chairman, called on the government to revise the Worker Dispatch Law that obliges corporations to offer direct employment to temporary workers.

It is high time for large corporations to fulfill their social responsibilities to ensure stable and long-term employment.
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