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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 December 23 - 2010 January 5  > Shiseido illegally dismissed temporary workers
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2009 December 23 - 2010 January 5 [LABOR]

Shiseido illegally dismissed temporary workers

December 25, 2009
The Tokyo High Court on December 24 decided that seven female temporary workers at Shiseido’s Kamakura factory in Kanagawa Prefecture were illegally dismissed during their contract term, and ordered their staffing agency to pay them compensation equivalent to wages which should have been paid.

Plaintiffs include Ikeda Kazuyo, chair of the Anfini branch of the National Union of General Workers’ Union affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren-Zenkoku-ippan) and other members of the union.

Due to a decrease in products, the staffing agency Anfini and Japan’s major cosmetic maker Shiseido in April changed temporary workers’ contract expiration dates from the end of December to May. However, Ikeda and four other plaintiffs were dismissed before the end of May. In addition, another two plaintiffs had their contracts terminated before they expired because they had joined the union.

Ikeda and other union members filed a lawsuit with the Yokohama District Court, demanding an injunction against their dismissals in July but the court dropped the case in October. They appealed the case to the Tokyo High Court.

The Tokyo High Court ruling pointed out that a decrease in sales of products, the excuse used by the company to change the contract term, is not recognized as an “unavoidable case” as set under the Labor Contract Law. The ruling determined that in order to cut jobs, Anfini unfairly shortened the contract term.

At a news conference later in the day, Ikeda said, “Because I couldn’t accept my lay-off, this ruling is wonderful. Based on this victory, I will continue to make efforts to be able to return to work.”
- Akahata, December 25, 2009
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