Japan Press Weekly
Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. is the only news agency providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan
Google Our Site:

Japan Press Weekly www

Temporary 'tent village' organizers urge Labor Ministry to take measures to cope with massive unemployment

The organizing committee of the temporary 'tent village' for laid off workers on March 31 visited Vice Labor Minister Omura Hideaki to request that the government take urgent measures to relieve workers who were laid off and became homeless at the end of March.

The temporary 'tent village' was set up in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo during the New Year holiday period to provide free meals and shelter to laid-off temporary workers.

In the meeting, Yuasa Makoto, head of the 'tent village' and secretary general of the non-profit Moyai organization (an independent relief center), pointed out that even in Tokyo there is no further room available at temporary shelters/accommodations.

"The government should take the initiative on the issue of providing shelter", he urged.

Omura said that the government has no intention to be held accountable for this issue, stating, "The government seems to be relying on local governments to provide emergency shelter."

Stressing that government policy resulted in the widespread dismissal of temporary workers, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) Vice Secretary General Inoue Hisashi demanded that the government rebuild the welfare service system.

The Labor Ministry's statistics published on March 31 shows that the number of contingent workers who lost or will lose their jobs between October 2008 and June 2009 will reach 192,000. At the end of March alone, it is estimated that 184,000 have lost their jobs ? up 26,541 from the figure published in February.

A survey of staffing agencies shows that 84.3 percent of about 31,000 temporary workers whose contracts were terminated during their contract terms lost their jobs because their staffing agency also dismissed them. Only 10.5 percent of them affected can still work as temporary workers.

- Akahata, April 1, 2009

Copyright © Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved