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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 July 19 - 25  > Hirakata City mayor apologizes to city workers' union for unfair labor practice
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2023 July 19 - 25 [LABOR]

Hirakata City mayor apologizes to city workers' union for unfair labor practice

July 29, 2023
The Hirakata City government in Osaka on July 18 issued a statement under the name of the city mayor apologizing to a Hirakata City workers' union for implementing an unfair labor practice.

The labor relations commission, the district court, and the high court in Osaka have recognized the conduct of Mayor Fushimi Takashi ("Ishin" party) as an unfair labor practice against the Hirakata City chapter of the Japan Federation of Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Unions (Jichiroen) which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren).

With union members and their supporters watching, Vice Mayor Nagasawa Hidemitsu read out the mayor's written apology and handed it to city workers' union leader Ichimoto Itsuya.

Ichimoto said, "It took four and a half years to settle the matter. We'd like the mayor to never repeat a similar conduct." The vice mayor said, "The city government will take the court rulings seriously."

In late 2018, Mayor Fushimi demanded that the union move its office out of a city government facility on the grounds that the union was criticizing the then Abe government in addition to the municipal administration. The mayor has since refused to accept the union's request for collective talks on this issue.

In November 2020, the Osaka Labor Relations Commission recognized that the mayor's acts were an unfair labor practice. In September 2022, the Osaka District Court ruled that it is permissible for labor unions to voice their political opinions, acknowledging that the mayor demanded the eviction of the union office in order to weaken the union. In June 2023, the Osaka High Court rejected the mayor's claim.

Past related article:
> District court rules Hirakata City mayor’s move to remove union office from city-owned facility as unfair labor practice [September 8, 2022]
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