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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 1 - 7  > Abe should renounce his attempt to increase contingent employment
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2014 October 1 - 7 [LABOR]

Abe should renounce his attempt to increase contingent employment

October 2, 2014
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s government submitted to the extraordinary Diet session a bill to revise the Worker Dispatch Law again despite the defeat of his first attempt during the latest ordinary session. The bill would expand the use of temporary agency workers without limitation. This will force those workers to give up attempts to obtain full-time positions and promote the replacement of full-time workers with temporary workers. PM Abe’s attempt to relax regulations on the use of dispatched agency workers was foiled at the end of the ordinary Diet session in June due to mounting public criticism. The prime minister, however, is again working to get this bill passed.

Expansion of unstable jobs

The proposed bill will abandon the basic principle that the use of agency workers should be applied only to temporary and transient jobs and that dispatched work should not be considered an acceptable alternative to regular work.

The existing law bans corporations from using temporary agency workers for more than three years in job categories other than for 26 special job categories such as translation. The government-proposed bill will enable employers to keep using temporary staffing services indefinitely by changing dispatched workers every three years and just asking for labor unions’ opinions. The government also plans to allow employers to use agency workers in all job categories.

These revisions will make it easier for corporations to replace full-time workers with temporary workers, which will contribute to further cutting labor costs. An increase in the number of temporary workers will end up bringing about a society where no one can find full-time positions.

Prime Minister Abe is seeking to make Japan “the best nation in the world to engage in corporate activities”. As shown in Abe’s appointment of Shiozaki Yasuhisa, a strong advocate of easing labor laws, as the labor minister, the PM is eager to destroy current labor laws protecting the rights of workers.

In addition to relaxing the law on the use of temporary workers, Abe is planning to loosen legal restrictions on working hours, which could legalize overtime work without pay and excessively long working hours.

Going against world trend

It is taken for granted worldwide that the use of temporary workers is limited to temporary and transient jobs. The creation of decent jobs is a major goal in the global community. Let’s build a broad struggle to block PM Abe’s move to expand temporary employment and foil his other attempts to remove labor protections.
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