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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 December 9 - 15  > JMITU stands up against Sega Sammy’s job-cut plan using corona-crisis as excuse
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2020 December 9 - 15 [LABOR]

JMITU stands up against Sega Sammy’s job-cut plan using corona-crisis as excuse

December 11, 2020
The Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers' Union (JMITU) has stood up against video games giant Sega Sammy’s 650-job-cut plan using the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as an excuse.

Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. on November 4 announced that it sold off its business of operating amusement facilities such as arcade game centers. Two days later, the company also announced its plan to dismiss 650 employees in its group companies by offering early retirement packages. Soon after this, the firm began holding individual interviews aiming to force targeted workers to accept the offer.

Meanwhile, JMITU claims that under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, while suffering a deficit in the arcade business, the company recorded a surplus in its digital and packaged games businesses thanks to stay-at-home measures. The Sega’s 2020 half-yearly financial report, which was released on November 6, showed that the amount of internal reserves increased to 179.9 billion yen.

A Sega worker said to the union, “During an interview with my boss, I was told that my job will no longer exist and I was being forced to accept an early retirement offer.” The worker refused to accept the offer, but the company continues to hold individual interviews to push for early retirement.

The JMITU Sega Sammy branch on November 6 negotiated with the company to demand the cancellation of the job-cut plan.

The union referred to a statement dated August 5 by Sega Sammy CEO Satomi Haruki. In the statement, Satomi explained that the Sega Sammy Group has sufficient financial strength to overcome the difficult situation at present caused by the pandemic. The JMITU local also pointed out that Satomi in his video message said that the company can maintain jobs even if the ongoing pandemic continues for two years. The union demanded that Sega Sammy give up on the downsizing plan.

The JMITU branch, together with its supporters, is making various efforts to block the planned dismissal, including distributing leaflets to workers in front of the company’s head office building. In the leaflets, the union criticizes the company for sacrificing its workers for higher profits and appeals to Sega workers for the need to join the union to protect their jobs.
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