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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 April 24 - May 7  > Tokyo gov’t ordered to negotiate with union
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2013 April 24 - May 7 [LABOR]

Tokyo gov’t ordered to negotiate with union

April 25, 2013
The Tokyo High Court on April 24 issued an order that the Tokyo Metropolitan government negotiate with a non-regular workers’ union over unfair termination of contracts.

Plaintiffs are staff of the Tokyo government’s consumer affairs center and members of the Tokyo metropolitan general union for public sector workers.

Citing Article 28 of the Japanese Constitution which guarantees workers the right to bargain collectively, the court acknowledged that the Tokyo government has an obligation to respond to the union’s demand for negotiations.

The Tokyo government employs consumer affairs staff members on one-year contracts.

In December 2007, the TMG suddenly revised its employment rules and placed a limit on the number of contract renewals to four times.

Following the rule revision, workers at the consumer affairs center formed their own union under the Tokyo general union umbrella and made a request to bargain collectively regarding the revised rule. The authority, however, rejected the union’s request, leading the union to launch legal battles at local and national labor boards as well as in the courts.

At a news conference after the court ruling, one of the plaintiffs said, “We receive from consumers requests for counseling in regard to very serious matters such as financial-product fraud. We need to be experienced in order to help such consumers. The five-year limit to employment will lead to severe problems not only in the workplace but for consumers seeking assistance.”
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