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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 8 - 14  > Zenroren holds day of action to fight against Abe’s labor deregulation
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2017 November 8 - 14 [LABOR]

Zenroren holds day of action to fight against Abe’s labor deregulation

November 9, 2017
Voices of union workers opposing Prime Minister Abe’s attempt to change the eight-hour rule and the pacifist Article 9 echoed through the government district of Kasumigaseki in Tokyo all day on November 8.

This day of action was called for jointly by the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and independent unions.

In the morning, unions of transport sector workers, including taxi and truck drivers, petitioned the Transport and Labor ministries to take measures to eliminate harsh working conditions in the transport industry.

A truck drivers’ union representative demanded that hours spent behind the wheel by a truck driver be limited to up to 11 hours a day and 248 hours per month. Representatives of the All-Japan Federation of Automobile Transport Workers’ Unions (Jiko-soren), which organizes taxi drivers and sightseeing bus-related workers, cited the fact that the number of overwork-induced deaths in the trucking and taxi industries is 9.4-fold and 3.7-fold worse, respectively, than that in other industries. They urged the ministries to work to eliminate such a tragic situation.

During the lunch hour, a rally took place at Hibiya Amphitheater located near the Kasumigaseki district with about 3,500 union members participating.

Zenroren President Odagawa Yoshikazu on behalf of the organizing committee delivered a speech. He stressed the need to attract more workers to oppose the PM Abe-led labor deregulation and the need to boost public support for the unions’ call for higher wages. Odagawa also called on the participants to work hard for the success of a popular movement seeking to collect 30 million signatures to foil Abe’s ambition to undermine the war-renouncing Article 9.

Union activists appeared on the stage, expressing their determination to push the government to tighten working hour regulations.

A representative of the All Japan Construction, Transport and General Unions (CTG, Kenkoro) reported that under the multi-layer subcontracting structure, construction workers are suffering with low wages and excessive overtime which stems from the imposition of shorter construction periods. The 36-year-old Kenkoro member said that Kenkoro will step up its efforts to push the government to seriously tackle this matter.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira and a representative of Labor Notes, a network of people in the U.S. labor movement, delivered speeches in solidarity.

Past related article:
> Abe’s work-style reform will increase risk of ‘karoshi’: bereaved families [March 9, 2017]
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