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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 1 - 7  > Yamazoe: Yamato Transport should stop treating mail deliverers as expendables
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2023 November 1 - 7 [LABOR]

Yamazoe: Yamato Transport should stop treating mail deliverers as expendables

November 2, 2023

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Yamazoe Taku at an Upper House Budget Committee meeting on November 1 demanded a shift in policies of cutting labor costs.

Yamazoe cited a situation in Yamato Transport Co. as an example. Yamato Transport in association with the transfer of its direct-mail (DM) delivery business to Japan Post is planning to terminate contracts of DM deliverers. The company is refusing to hold collective bargaining talks with them by regarding them as individual contractors and not as Yamato workers, according to Yamazoe.

Yamazoe said that DM delivery contractors are obliged to wear the Yamato work uniform, their delivery routes are monitored by Yamato using GPS, and do the exactly same DM delivery job as some directly-employed Yamato part-time workers.

Yamazoe said, “Depending on what Yamato calls them, persons who do the DM delivery job can be Yamato workers or be individual contractors,” and asked, “Is it acceptable for Yamato to reject a collective bargaining request if it insists that they are individual contractors?”

Labor Minister Takemi Keizo said in response, “Labor enforcement authorities will judge if it is legal or not.”

Yamazoe said, “Yamato calls them individual contractors, but they are actually disguised contract workers under Yamato supervision,” and demanded that the Labor Ministry instruct Yamato to comply with relevant labor laws. Yamazoe asked, “Why do you think Yamato treats them as individual contractors even though they are Yamato workers in practice?”

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio answered, “I’m not aware of that situation at Yamato.”

Yamazoe said, “It is obviously because Yamato can easily cut their jobs,” and stressed the need to expand the protection of their labor rights.
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