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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 November 10 - 16  > With help from union, ex-hotel worker in Miyagi succeeds in receiving compensation benefits for corona-caused leave
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2021 November 10 - 16 [LABOR]

With help from union, ex-hotel worker in Miyagi succeeds in receiving compensation benefits for corona-caused leave

November 10, 2021

An ex-hotel worker who was dismissed under the pretext of financial difficulties caused by the pandemic won the payment of state subsidies for pandemic-affected workers with help from a local body of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), Akahata reported on November 10.

Akama Junn’ichi (67) worked as a night-shift worker at a hotel located in Matsushima, one of major tourist spots in Miyagi Prefecture.

In March 2020, Akama was forced to go on furlough on the grounds of a drop in the number of hotel guests. He requested the hotel to put his name on a list of furloughed employees made by the hotel to apply for the state program aiming to compensate workers who were forced to take leave of absence due to the pandemic. He then began receiving compensation benefits.

In September, Akama was notified by the hotel of his dismissal at the end of the month and excluded from the hotel list for applying for the state compensation program. This made him ineligible to continue receiving the benefit payment.

Although he asked for help and advice from local labor authorities, he could not obtain any help to deal with his issue. As his last hope, he asked for help from Japanese Communist Party member of the Matsushima Town Assembly Aizawa Sawako, which led him to join the Zenroren-affiliated Miyagi Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions.

In July 2021, Akama and the union negotiated with the hotel and obtained a pledge from the hotel proprietor that following an agreement regarding Akama’s forced retirement, the hotel will apply for the government’s compensation program. Finally, Akama received payment of state subsidies for corona-caused leave.

Akama said to Akahata, “It was surprising for me that the hotel owner negotiated with us. I’m so glad I joined the union!”

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