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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 1 - 7  > JCP Miyamoto urges gov’t to stop reducing numbers of ministry workers dedicated to fighting COVID-19
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2020 July 1 - 7 [LABOR]

JCP Miyamoto urges gov’t to stop reducing numbers of ministry workers dedicated to fighting COVID-19

July 2, 2020
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru on July 1 at a House Health, Labor and Welfare Committee meeting urged the government to stop slashing the number of health ministry workers as it imposes excessively long working hours on them in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

JCP Miyamoto asked about the number of ministry workers who worked overtime between January, when the first coronavirus case was confirmed in Japan, and May.

According to data provided by the government to Miyamoto, 105 ministry workers in January worked overtime for more than 80 hours (the government-set danger line for death from overwork) not exceeding 100 hours. The figure went up in relation to the virus spread. The number of such workers in April when the nation was placed under the state of emergency increased to 402 and in May stood at 312. Regarding workers who worked more than 100 hours of overtime per month, the number of these workers increased to 145 in April from 26 in January.

Grilled by Miyamoto about the issue of ministry staff working excessively long working hours, Health and Labor Minister Kato Katsunobu said that he will take precautions to prevent ministry workers from frequently working excessive overtime.

Furthermore, Miyamoto cited that the government policy of shrinking its workforce has imposed excessively long working hours on ministry workers. He demanded that the government cancel its plan to cut the number of government employees by 10% over the next five years.

In response, the health and labor minister indicated his intent to go forward with the job-cut plan by saying that the streamlining of the government workforce was a Cabinet decision.

Past related article:
> Government workers despite cuts in workforce and budget fight hard against COVID-19 crisis [June 20, 2020]
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