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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 14 - 20  > Zenroren calls on migrant workers to join in unions to establish human rights
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2007 February 14 - 20 [LABOR]

Zenroren calls on migrant workers to join in unions to establish human rights

February 17, 2007
The Liaison Council on Migrant Issues (LCM), a task force of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), held a national exchange meeting in Tokyo on February 15 to establish human rights for migrant workers in Japan and to unionize them.

Foreign workers working in Japan, estimated to be about 800,000, are frequently forced to work for excessively long hours with low-wages under the pretext of on-the-job training programs.

Reporting that some migrant workers are forced to work for an average of 333 hours a month and 359 days a year, Labor Union of Migrant Workers (LUM) Secretary General Honda Miyoko denounced the harsh working conditions of migrant workers.

A member of an All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers’ Union (JMIU) local branch, in which more than 100 Brazilian workers in Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture are participating, reported that his union deals with migrant workers’ problems in the same way as Japanese workers’ and that by doing so it is gaining the trust of the migrant workers. He also emphasized the importance of giving them the opportunity to meet and talks with other people and to form a union organization in every workplace.

The Tokushima Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Tokushima-Roren) reported that it is working on activities to help and protect foreign trainees who are forced to work under harsh working conditions.

LCM Secretary General Terama Seiji called for making the current Spring Struggle a springboard for advances in the establishment of human rights for migrant workers and the organization of them.

LCM Representative and LUM President Kawasaki Shunji said, “It is important to organize migrant workers as our colleagues. Let’s make this experience widely known throughout Japan.”
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