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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 30 - July 6  > Is Toyota again using workers as disposable labor?
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2010 June 30 - July 6 TOP3 [LABOR]

Is Toyota again using workers as disposable labor?

October 23, 2009
While dismissing a large number of fixed-term contract workers a year ago, Toyota Motor Corporation, has resumed recruiting new fixed-term contract workers under the pretext of increasing production of eco cars, but has failed to specify contract terms in violation of the Labor Contract Act.

Workers are criticizing Toyota by saying, “It is unacceptable that Toyota is about to repeat its practice of disposable use of labor without showing any sign of remorse for its massive dismissals of fixed-term contract workers last year.”

Last year, Toyota Motor’s massive dismissals of fixed-term contract workers drew public criticism because Toyota fired them without renewing their contracts, although Toyota invited workers to a fixed-term contract job by saying, “The contract term is renewable for a maximum of 35 months.” The number of fixed-term contract workers drastically decreased to 1,200 at the end of September from 9,000 in January 2008.

Aiming to hire 1,600 workers, Toyota offered jobs to 6,000 workers who were dismissed from Toyota during this past year. Toyota sent applicants a document stating working conditions and instructed them to move into the Toyota dormitory in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture to receive training.

The document, however, avoids specifying the contract term and whether the contract will be renewed or not. Toyota says that the contract term will be decided after training. In addition, Toyota directed that applicants should sign and submit an agreement on conditions of employment with the contract period left in blank and also provide a guarantor’s document. This violates the Labor Contract Act which requires employers to clearly state the conditions of employment.

Japanese Communist Party members of the local assembly and the Toyota Motor branch on October 14 in front of the Toyota Motor factory gate appealed to workers, saying, “The employment situation is deteriorating. It was triggered by Toyota’s massive lay-offs. Let’s get large corporations to fulfill their social responsibility and establish a society in which full-time employment is the norm.”
- Akahata, October 23, 2009
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