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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 15 - 21  > Union members sue Udon-noodle soup chain, seeking withdrawal of unfair dismissals
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2020 July 15 - 21 [LABOR]

Union members sue Udon-noodle soup chain, seeking withdrawal of unfair dismissals

July 15, 2020
The National Union of General Workers (Zenkoku-Ippan) and nine of its members on July 14 filed a lawsuit against the Osaka-based traditional Japanese noodle restaurant chain “Mimiu” with the Tokyo District Court, demanding withdrawal of their dismissals.

They also seek 5.5 million yen in damages caused by Mimiu's unfair labor practice against the union.

Mimiu's subsidiary Tokyo Mimiu, by taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic, closed all its six restaurants in the Kanto area, including Tokyo, and dismissed 150 employees. After forcing them to sign a severance agreement, Tokyo Mimiu decided on its liquidation in a shareholders' meeting on May 20.

According to the plaintiffs, they were told by Tokyo Mimiu that the signed severance agreement would be used as a bargaining chip in order to ask the parent company president in Osaka to keep open the restaurants in Tokyo. In the complaint submitted to the court, they explain that they did not want to give up their jobs and Tokyo Mimiu knew it, and that the severance agreement they signed is invalid under the Civil Code.

They also explain that Mimiu violated a mutual agreement which requires the company to gain the consent of the union when dealing with critical issues such as layoffs and corporate dissolution, pointing out that a legal precedent rules that a "dissolution without giving a full, reasonable explanation to employees" is an abuse of the right of dismissal.

Past related article:
> Union stands up against unfair dismissals by Udon-noodle chain under pretext of corona crisis[May 29, 2020]
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