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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 28 - October 4  > Sony fixed-term contract workers win extension of contracts
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2011 September 28 - October 4 [LABOR]

Sony fixed-term contract workers win extension of contracts

September 30, 2011
The Sony workers’ union Sendai branch at a collective bargaining session on September 28 succeeded in extending two fixed-term workers’ contracts, just two days before their contracts were to expire.

Using damage from the March 11 quake and tsunami as an excuse, Sony in March announced a plan to downsize its production scale at its Sendai plant and dismiss all 150 fixed-term contract workers there by the end of September.

Between April and May, fixed-term contract workers were requested by the company to accede to the termination of their contracts at the end of September in a five-minute interview.

The two workers reluctantly accepted the company’s request. However, they later realized that 20 fixed-term contract workers joined the union to oppose the company’s plan. The two decided to also join the union to struggle to retract their consent to leave the plant and to continue working.

In negotiations with the union, the company agreed to receive the retraction of their consent and extended their contract term as well as that of the other 20 union members for one more month.

One of the two workers said, “I thought it would be hard to change the company’s plan. I’m glad that the company extended my contract term.”

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Yamashita Yoshiki took up the Sony’s dismissal plan in the Diet. The Miyagi Prefectural Labor Bureau also made a judgment that Sony should not end fixed-term contract workers’ contracts unilaterally without an agreement with the union.

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