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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 February 19 - 25  > Labor Commission orders Osaka mayor to apologize to union
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2014 February 19 - 25 [LABOR]

Labor Commission orders Osaka mayor to apologize to union

February 21, 2014
The Osaka Labor Relations Commission on February 20 ordered the mayor of Osaka City to apologize to a union organizing city employees for trying to remove the union office from the city office building.

Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto Toru, who also serves as a co-head of the right-wing Japan Restoration Party, assumed the mayoral post in December 2011. The next month, Hashimoto notified the city workers’ union, which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), to withdraw its office from the city hall on the grounds of a “lack of space.” The union filed a complaint with the labor relations commission.

Mayor Hashimoto has persistently regarded unions with hostility, saying, “If we allow public workers’ unions to act as they please, the whole country will go bankrupt.”

The labor commission pointed out that the mayor unilaterally directed the union to remove its office without negotiating with union representatives on the matter and proposing any alternatives to the eviction. It also stated that the city’s documents regarding the “lack of space” in the city office lack consistency and thus the figures showed in the documents are questionable.

The labor authorities decided that the city’s act constitutes an unfair labor practice banned by the Labor Union Law, and ordered Hashimoto to publish a written apology to the union.

Nakayama Naokazu, the union’s vice-chair, told reporters that they have worked together with citizens to block the mayor from further cutting public services. The commission’s order will help to protect residents’ interests as well, he stressed.

Past Related Articles:
> Osaka mayor defends assemblyman over fabricated anti-union data [April 13, 2012]
> Survey on city workers’ political thoughts is unfair labor practice: labor board [March 26, 2013]
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