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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 November 10 - 16  > Female Mitsubishi Electric worker joins union to resist company’s ‘banishment room’ dismissal tactic
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2021 November 10 - 16 TOP3 [LABOR]

Female Mitsubishi Electric worker joins union to resist company’s ‘banishment room’ dismissal tactic

November 11, 2021

A female Mitsubishi Electric worker joined the Denki-Joho Union, which organizes individual workers in the electronics and information industries, to fight back against the company’s unfair treatment with its use of the “banishment room” tactic.

Akahata learned this at a press conference held by the worker and the union on November 10 in the Labor Ministry office building.

The woman works at a Mitsubishi Electric factory in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In 2001, after registering the complaint against workplace sexual harassment, she began suffering unfair treatment including frequent transfers to subsidiaries.

In April 2017, after returning to her original position from the latest transfer, she was put into an “isolation room” with no air conditioning and ordered to write a report every day on financial news. Eight months later, she received a penalty of one-day suspension on the grounds that she left her desk for more than 15 minutes in violation of the company’s work rule. At that time, the company showed her video footage data from surveillance cameras set near the isolation room and the ladies’ room.

In July 2018, the woman was diagnosed as having depression and went on administrative leave. In September 2019 when the approved leave time expired, she was required by the company to submit a retirement notice following an individual interview. Seeking advice and help, the woman joined the Denki-Joho Union. Pushed by the union, the company cancelled the planned interview.

The woman and her union are demanding that the company stop using the banishment room tactic to force her to accept an early retirement and to remove the surveillance cameras.

At the press conference, Denki-Joho Union Chair Maita Tokuji criticized Mitsubishi Electric’s act as being tantamount to forced confinement. He pointed out that the company obviously intends to carry out a restructuring scheme which has yet to be made public, and added, “The company which fails to guarantee its employees an anxiety-free workplace will have no future.”
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