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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 16 - 22  > Workers’ heavy workload is a matter of grave concern: major fast-food chain admits
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2014 April 16 - 22 [LABOR]

Workers’ heavy workload is a matter of grave concern: major fast-food chain admits

April 18, 2014
Pressed by workers, major fast-food restaurant chain Zensho on April 17 announced that it will improve the working environment in order to solve a shortage of staff that the company admitted being faced with.

The chain operator runs the beef bowl restaurant “Sukiya” which has 1,984 stores throughout the country. The Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Union, which organizes Sukiya part-time workers, has long demanded that the company increase its workforces and raise wage levels.

Zensho in its press release on the same day admitted to the fact that during the period between February and April, up to 123 Sukiya stores had to suspend their operations due to labor shortages and store renovations. It added that another 124 stores are currently operating from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M., though they are normally open 24/7.

Taking seriously into account workers’ excessive workloads associated with labor shortages and the introduction of new menu items, the company announced that it will put top priority on the improvement of working conditions.

Zensho proposed to set up a third-party committee to make recommendations to create a better working environment.

Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Union Secretary General Yamada Shingo commented as follows:

The demands and concern expressed by store staff and union members moved the company. However, the company still fails to implement a practical measure to solve the problems of long working hours and low wage levels. The Zensho headquarters should fulfill its responsibility to hold collective negotiations with the union and to improve working conditions in accordance with workers’ demands.

Past related article
> Major fast-food stores close one after another due to understaffing [March 28, 2014]
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