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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 June 4 - 10  > ‘Black part-time jobs’ exploit students
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2014 June 4 - 10 TOP3 [LABOR]

‘Black part-time jobs’ exploit students

June 7, 2014
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

More and more college students work part-time under illegal working conditions, the so-called “black part-time jobs”, being burdened with excessive responsibilities and assigned quotas the same as permanent employees.

The existence of “black corporations” which dump young workers after using them to the extreme came to the surface last summer. Around the same time, many college students began accusing their part-time job employers of being as black as such corporations, drawing media attention.

“I was hired on a ‘4 evenings a week’ contract, but I’m actually forced to work six days a week from morning” (a supermarket cashier), “The owner leaves me a key to the shop, so I have to go there just to open and close each time but without pay” (a coffee shop assistant), and “When quitting, I was told to deduct the expenses for a help-wanted ad from my pay” (a restaurant waiter).

Black part-time jobs have become widespread in connection with the tendency to replace full-time workers with non-regular workers at many corporations.

For example, an outlet of a chain restaurant sometimes has only one or no permanent staff. There, student part-timers are left with a heavy responsibility as floor leaders and these leaders are forced to manage the shifts of all workers and train new part-timers.

Many students have to rely on the income from their part-time jobs. Since they receive insufficient remittance from parents and feel reluctant to apply for scholarship loans because these will have to repaid after graduation, they have no choice but to work part-time even if unhappy with the job.

Black part-time jobs take advantage of students in a vulnerable position and of their ignorance of basic knowledge about labor laws.

University teachers also complain about their students’ work, saying, “Even during class, they receive phone calls from their part-time employers,” and “It’s been difficult to hold productive seminars because many students are busy working part-time.”

The Japanese Communist Party has recently published a policy proposal for protecting students from black part-time jobs. Various activities have just begun such as informing high school and college students of labor rights, holding seminars about black part-time jobs, establishing a consultation desk at universities, organizing demonstrations against black part-time jobs, calling for cuts in tuition fees, and working to improve scholarship programs.

It is imperative to increase these movements in universities as well as communities in order to eliminate illegal labor practices and ensure the future of young people.
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