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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 October 14 - 20  > Anti-poverty volunteers urge government to avoid setting up ‘tent village’
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2009 October 14 - 20 [ECONOMY]

Anti-poverty volunteers urge government to avoid setting up ‘tent village’

October 15, 2009
An anti-poverty volunteer group has urged the government to take further steps to provide support, including accommodations, to temporary workers who lost their jobs and places to live in preparation for the cold winter.

Volunteer workers of the organizing committee of the “tent village” for laid-off temporary workers on October 14 submitted to Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio a petition calling for urgent measures to improve the employment situation.

The volunteers, including union activists and lawyers, had set up a “tent village” in central Tokyo during the New Year holiday period in 2008 in order to provide free meals and shelters to those who were in need.

Emphasizing the need to prevent the same situation from occurring again, they requested the government to revise the Employment Insurance Act as early as possible so that all temporary workers can be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, to establish a fund to provide financial aid to the unemployed by making big businesses take responsibility for mass dismissals of temporary workers, and to improve the welfare assistance system.

They also demanded that the Workers Dispatch Law be drastically revised at least by the end of the next ordinary Diet session slated for January 2010, and that in order to solve the issue of poverty, the government should give shape to policies, including a drastic increase in minimum wage, to support people in financial difficulties. - Akahata, October 15, 2009
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