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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 October 24 - 30  > Ex-Nissan worker sues gov’t for workers’ compensation
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2012 October 24 - 30 [LABOR]

Ex-Nissan worker sues gov’t for workers’ compensation

October 26, 2012
An ex-temporary worker, who was working at a factory of Nissan Motor Company, is now fighting in court against the government to seek workers’ compensation.

Okada Tomoaki, 38, had been working at a production line making automobile parts in Nissan’s Yokohama factory for three and a half years from September 2004.

He was welding the parts together in several batches, always moving quickly up and down along the line with those components in his hands. The soles of his feet and his knees were damaged every time he walked on the concrete floor wearing heavy safety shoes. When something went wrong with the line, he had to move up and down the line carrying heavy materials weighing over 20 kg.

Though the worker took measures himself to ease the pain in his feet and lower-back, he became unable to walk due to the terrible pain in February 2008. As he told Nissan his intention to claim workers’ compensation, the company and the temp staffing agency suddenly shifted him from the factory to another workplace, and in 2009, he was dismissed in the middle of his employment contract.

Okada applied to the labor standards inspection office in Yokohama City for workmen’s compensation, arguing that his suffering was caused by the work. A head of the office, however, rejected his demand, saying, “There was no causal relation between the worker’s duty and his bad physical condition.”

In June this year, Okada brought his case to court claiming workers’ compensation. The oral proceedings were held in August and October. “It is wrong that the labor standards office refused my claim without investigating the actual working situation. I want the court to bring the truth to light,” he said.

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