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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 13 - 19  > Lawyers set up network to support struggle of shift workers against unfair treatment
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2022 April 13 - 19 [LABOR]

Lawyers set up network to support struggle of shift workers against unfair treatment

April 13-15, 2022
Young lawyers working on labor issues on April 14 formed a network to support workers working in non-standard shifts.

Non-standard shift workers are working as part-time employees mainly in the food sector and their employment contracts only stipulate that they work on “a shift basis” without specifying working hours and working days. Under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, these workers have experienced unilateral cuts in shifts and other disadvantages.

Head of the lawyers’ network Kawaguchi Tomoya pointed out, “The existing labor legislation is insufficient to protect non-standard shift workers. Nevertheless, the Kishida government intends to promote the use of such workers.” He expressed his determination to help these workers win their fight for better working conditions and to improve legal protections for non-standard shift workers.

Network member Fujiwara Tomohiro referred to new rules on the use of non-standard shift workers which were recently compiled by the Labor Ministry.

Under the new rules, employers will be required to discuss with non-standard shift workers regarding their working conditions, including the minimum number of hours and days they can work per month. This outcome was achieved through the joint efforts of a labor union and the Japanese Communist Party. It is expected that these new rules will put a brake on unilateral cuts and unilateral changes in work shifts.

The chair of the Tokyo Youth Union organizing non-regular workers in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Harada Niki, said that the union will utilize the Labor Ministry-set rules regarding the minimum number of working hours and working days in its efforts to protect non-standard shift workers. He also expressed his determination to work even harder to provide better labor protection to non-standard shift workers.
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