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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 5 - 11  > JCP issues policy proposal to protect franchise owners from exploitative practices of convenience store companies
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2019 June 5 - 11 [JCP]

JCP issues policy proposal to protect franchise owners from exploitative practices of convenience store companies

June 8, 2019

The Japanese Communist Party on June 7 published a policy proposal calling for legislation to prevent convenience store companies from taking excessive advantage of store franchise owners.

JCP Policy Commission Chair Kasai Akira and JCP member of the House of Councilors Tatsumi Kotaro at a press conference in the Diet building said that currently there are 57,000 convenience stores across Japan and stressed that they not just sell goods but also provide a wide range of services to local residents, such as the issuing of certificates of tax and national health insurance premium payments. The JCP lawmakers pointed out that in the event of natural disasters, these stores can play a role as vital supply sources of daily essentials. However, the JCP lawmakers pointed out, many convenience store franchise owners have difficulties in keeping their businesses going mainly because they are forced to accept unfair franchise contracts under an unequal relationship with franchise headquarters.

Tatsumi said that it is necessary to improve the business conditions of store owners by changing franchise contracts which are excessively advantageous to franchisers. He added that this would also benefit convenience store workers as well as consumers. Tatsumi said, “We will work hard to turn our proposal into legislation by arousing public discussion on this issue.”

The JCP proposal includes the following six items: prohibit convenience store companies from forcing their franchise store owners to operate 24/7; basically ban franchise headquarters from adopting an area-dominant strategy; oblige convenience store chains to discuss with store operators about “royalty” fees when the need arises—for example, when store labor costs go up; put an end to the use of accounting rules unique to convenience stores; disallow franchise headquarters’ unilateral and arbitrary termination of franchise contracts; and set up a government body that oversees the convenience store franchise system.

Past related articles:
> We can't go on any longer: franchise owners' union requests collective talks with 7-Eleven [February 28, 2019]
> JCP’s efforts lead to victory of 7-Eleven workers fighting against wage theft [October 19, 2016]

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