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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 June 10 - 16  > English teachers for children win direct employment by private academy
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2020 June 10 - 16 [LABOR]

English teachers for children win direct employment by private academy

June 13, 2020

Yamaha Music Japan Co., Ltd., which runs English schools throughout Japan for children, will directly hire English teachers, who were independent proprietors, as company workers and will guarantee them workers' rights, Akahata learned on June 12.

The Yamaha English Teachers' Union said that the union and the company reached an agreement the other day so that the teachers' rights can be guaranteed as workers in regards to minimum wages, paid holidays, overtime, and social insurance coverage.

Head of the union Shimizu Hitomi said, "The collective bargaining sessions we held more than ten times have given rise to the possibility of direct employment of all English teachers. This is a major step forward."

According to the union, about 1,200 teachers at Yamaha English Academy worked as "independent proprietors" under consignment contracts. From work location and work hours to teaching guidelines, they worked under instructions from Yamaha. Their working style was not different from those designated as "workers". They were, however, not eligible to be covered by social insurance programs and the minimum wage system.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, from late February they could not work for three months, but no compensation was provided at all. All they received was 20% of their monthly pay as "sympathy money" from the company.

The union sought advice from the Japanese Communist Party, and Shimizu said that the sympathy money was not enough to live on and that independent proprietors under consignment contracts are in name only as they teach children strictly in line with the company's teaching manual.

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