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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 March 29 - April 4  > Union stages strike to block RIKEN’s massive dismissal of non-regular researchers
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2023 March 29 - April 4 [LABOR]

Union stages strike to block RIKEN’s massive dismissal of non-regular researchers

March 30, 2023

The labor union at the National Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) on March 29 staged a strike, demanding that RIKEN withdraw its plan to dismiss 380 non-regular researchers at the end of this month which is in violation of the labor law.

Strike participants held a rally in front of the RIKEN head office located in Saitama’s Wako City.

Union chair Kanai Yasuyuki pointed out that nearly 80% of RIKEN researchers and clerical workers are working under fixed-term employment contracts, and criticized the institution for planning to fire non-regular staff in order to evade its legal obligation under the Labor Contract Act regarding conversion to indefinite-term employment contracts. The union leader expressed his determination to increase union efforts to win the withdrawal of the dismissal plan.

The Labor Contract Act requires employers to convert the employment contracts of non-regular workers and non-regular researchers to open-ended ones after their continuous employment for five years and ten years, respectively (the conversion rule).

The chief of a research team who became a target of the dismissal plan said, “The termination of my contract will lead to the dissolution of my team. The RIKEN management doesn’t understand at all that good research takes time. It is totally unacceptable for the national institution to commit a labor law violation.”

National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) Secretary General Kurosawa Koichi delivered a speech in solidarity. Stating, “The conversion rule was established to provide stable employment for non-regular workers,” Kurosawa called on RIKEN to abide by the rule.

Past related articles:
> JCP Tamura urges gov’t to instruct RIKEN to withdraw planned dismissal of 600 researchers [March 29, 2022]
> Layoffs of 600 RIKEN researchers may engender 60 leading innovative studies [March 26, 2022]
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