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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 14 - 20  > National exchange meeting held to eradicate large corporations’ illegal labor practices
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2007 February 14 - 20 TOP3 [LABOR]

National exchange meeting held to eradicate large corporations’ illegal labor practices

February 18, 2007
Zenroren President Ban’nai Mitsuo stated, “While large corporations are making record-high profits, workers and the general public are suffering from the worsening of living standards, and local economies are failing.”

Calling for eradication of illegal labor practices such as disguised contract labor and unpaid overtime in defense of employment and local economies, some 700 people from across the country took part in a national exchange meeting held in Tokyo on February 17.

This meeting was organized by an organizing committee consisting of eight national organizations, including the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), the Japanese Communist Party, and the Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom as well as organizations of workers, small- and medium-sized enterprises, farmers, women, and youth.

Zenroren President Ban’nai Mitsuo, in his greeting on behalf of the organizing committee, stated, “While large corporations are making record-high profits, workers and the general public are suffering from the worsening of living standards, and local economies are failing.” He called on the participants to wage a major campaign in defense of employment and local economies.

In reporting on the Diet situation, JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi stated, “Let us make this meeting a starting point to launch a major counter offensive, making use of the solidarity that exists among various social forces.” He stressed the importance to change the balance of power in the Diet.

Participants one after another reported about the realities of “working poor,” those who need more than one job to make a living, death from overwork, and disguised contract work and their struggles in workplaces and local communities.

They said, “We should be treated as human-beings, not as goods. Working conditions in which workers can have no prospects offer corporations and society no future.” A participant expressed his determination, saying, “Our fight will change the situation.”

Concerning business circles’ strategies and issues of unpaid overtime and disguised contract work, Nihon University College of Economics Dean Makino Tomio, Lawyer Sumi Ken’ichiro of the Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom, JCP Fukuoka Prefectural Assembly member Yatsuki Hiroharu, and All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers’ Union Chair Ikuma Shigemi gave reports.

A 27-year-old participant living in Tokyo, whose 120-hour monthly overtime has been unpaid, said, “Various struggles across the country have greatly encouraged me. I’ve heard my colleagues complain. I will speak with them and change our working conditions.”

A Yaskawa Electric Corporation worker who had openly criticized his company for using disguised contract labor at its factory in Kitakyushu City said, “I have come to realize that nationwide workers’ struggles have driven corporations into a corner. I will continue to struggle by joining hands with non-regular workers.”
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