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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 1 - 14  > Court accuses major fast-food chain of an unfair labor practice
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2012 August 1 - 14 [LABOR]

Court accuses major fast-food chain of an unfair labor practice

August 1, 2012
The Tokyo High Court on July 31 ruled that it was unfair for the leading fast-food restaurant chain Zensho to reject a request for collective bargaining from unionized part-time workers.

Prior to this, Zensho, the operator of the “Sukiya” chain, was already accused of its illegality by the Tokyo Labor Office, the Central Labor Relations Commission, and the Tokyo District Court.

In January 2007, the Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Union requested Zensho to hold collective bargaining talks over unpaid overtime and unfair working hours. The company refused to sit at a negotiating table with its part-timers, insisting that the union is not qualified as a labor union under the Constitution or the Labor Union Law.

The following month, the union filed a complaint against Zensho at the Tokyo Labor Office, which in October 2009 recognized the Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Union as a legitimate labor union under existing labor laws and the rejection of collective bargaining as an unfair labor practice. The Central Labor Relations Commission in July 2010 supported this decision and ordered the company to begin negotiations with the union members.

Zensho filed a lawsuit demanding cancellation of the order at the Tokyo District Court. However, the court turned down the case in February this year.

The Tokyo High Court yesterday dismissed the company’s appeal. The judgment criticized the company for its continued hostility toward part-time workers who join the union, and stated, “There is no need to revise the previous judgment.”
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