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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 December 10 - 16  > Foil 'political casualty' of massive job cuts: JCP Shii speaks on TV-Tokyo
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2008 December 10 - 16 [LABOR]

Foil 'political casualty' of massive job cuts: JCP Shii speaks on TV-Tokyo

December 15, 2008
On TV Tokyo’s weekly current affairs program “Tase Yasuhiro’s Shukan News Shinsho” aired on December 13, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo emphasized the importance of struggling to overcome the ongoing “political disasters” that are destroying Japan’s employment base.

The program’s host Tase Yasuhiro (Daily Nikkei Shimbun columnist) said that the JCP is a party that is increasing its presence by aggressively struggling to protect jobs against massive dismissals by corporations.

Tase asked, “How do you view the fact that a great number of people in Japan, who are working hard, cannot enjoy a happy life?”

Shii said, “The government should be blamed for adversely revising the Worker Dispatch Law in 1999 which allowed major corporations to replace full-time workforce with temporary or fixed-term contract workers. Wasn’t this nothing other than a beneficial tool for them to carry out their cost-cutting restructuring schemes?”

As regards recent corporate decisions to cancel job offers to students, Shii stated that the government must take the initiative in urging companies to retract their adverse decisions and disclose their names.

Tase referred to the issue of job cuts among Japan’s leading major corporations.

Shii stated, “Toyota Motor Kyushu cut 800 temporary workers from their payroll last August and this triggered the move toward massive dismissals nationwide. Canon, Toyota, and other major corporations are to blame for pushing ahead with arbitrary large-scale dismissals.”

Tase said, “The presidents of these corporations (Canon and Toyota) have sent in their top leaders to the presidency of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). And they are promoting dismissals. Canon President Mitarai Fujio, who also heads Keidanren, stated that it was a tough decision for Canon to fire temporary and fixed-term contract workers. Isn’t this too early to be so tough?

By the way, I think that both the government and labor unions are not sufficiently dealing with the matter.”

Shii stated, “The government should own up its responsibility to workers. Also, I found hope in the fact that temporary workers at Isuzu Motors and Canon-Oita established their labor unions, demanding that the dismissals be retracted and that they be employed as regular workers (at Canon).

Also, IBM Japan and Sony Corporation started cutting jobs, including full-time jobs. Japanese workers, irrespective of whether they are regular or contingent workers, of their participation in unions, and of national affiliation, are called upon to unite against the dismissal offensives.

Shii added, “These companies are saying that their profits are in decline, but Canon, for example, estimates that it will earn about 580 billion yen in ordinary income in the current fiscal year and have 3.3 trillion yen in internal reserves. Interim dividends will reach 71.5 billion yen.

Also, 75 percent of listed companies announced that their shareholders will receive the same or more dividends over the previous term. Major corporations are firing their workers while increasing payments of dividends to stockholders. No one can accept such an arrogant way of managing the capitalist economy.”

After the interview, Tase stated that the JCP, a party with a consistent political line, is expected to play a bigger role.

After the program was aired, many people made calls or sent e-mails to the JCP head office. A man said, “I was glad to watch the JCP on a commercial television program because they have been overly focused on topics like the confrontation between the Liberal Democratic Party and Democratic Party.
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