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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 11 - 18  > Non-regular postal workers sue Japan Post for its discriminatory treatment
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2020 February 11 - 18 [LABOR]

Non-regular postal workers sue Japan Post for its discriminatory treatment

February 15, 2020
A group of 150 fixed-term postal workers on February 14 filed with six district courts, including the Tokyo district court, lawsuits against Japan Post, claiming that the company’s discriminatory treatment of non-regular workers is illegal.

As four more non-regular workers will file a similar lawsuit with the Nagasaki District Court in a few days’ time, the number of plaintiffs will be 154 in total. The plaintiffs are members of the Postal Industry Workers' Union (PIWU) affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren).

In the filing, the plaintiffs insisted that although they do the same job and shoulder the same responsibility as regular workers, they experience unreasonable disparities prohibited under Article 20 of the Labor Contract Act. They pointed out that in contrast to regular workers, they are exempted from various fringe benefits, such as additional wages for working during the New Year holidays, housing allowances, and paid seasonal vacations. They also said that the amount of seasonal bonuses they receive is considerably less than that paid to regular workers.

At a press conference held in Tokyo after the filing, PIWU head Himaki Naoya expressed his determination to win the court battles and said, “A success in our fight will contribute to providing equal treatment to non-regular workers in the postal industry as well as in other industries.”

One of the plaintiffs who began his court battle in Tokyo, Sakama Tsuyoshi said, “I hope our fight will trigger a move to eliminate unequal treatment between regular and non-regular workers.”

Yoshimitsu Hiroshi, a member of the eight plaintiffs’ group in the Fukuoka lawsuit, talked about his experience in which when he needed to be hospitalized, he found that non-regular workers are not entitled to sick leave. He said, “With this experience, I became keenly aware of the unreasonable disparities.”

In the past in similar court battles, the Tokyo and Osaka high courts issued rulings ordering Japan Post to end discriminatory treatment of non-regular workers. The company, however, has yet to abide by these court rulings.

Past related articles:
> Non-regular postal workers demand Japan Post abide by court rulings ordering an end to regular/non-regular gaps [March 5, 2019]
> Osaka court judges Japan Post’s discrimination against fixed-term workers to be unfair [February 22, 2018]
> Japan Post ordered to end its unfair treatment of non-regular workers [September 15, 2017]
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