Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dispute at Panasonic reaching climax ? Human chain of 800 surrounding the Supreme Court

 The struggle of Yoshioka Tsutomu in Panasonic PDP, which influences the future of non-regular and regular workers all around Japan, has reached the climax - the stage of argument in the Supreme Court. This is the first case where the court makes a decision on disguised contracting and unlawful dismissals of non-regular workers. The argument will possibly result in reversing the judgment of the Osaka High Court, which demanded Mr. Yoshioka, the plaintiff, to be reinstated. On November 27, 2009, a human chain surrounded the Supreme Court against the possible reversal of the high court decision. 800 people joined the human chain so as to exceed the circumference. They included members of national centers of trade unions, such as Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions) and Zenrokyo (National Trade Union Council), and non-regular migrant workers. (Kurogane Ko) Photo: Yoshioka Tsutomu appealing in a meeting

 全国の非正規、そして正規労働者の運命を決めるパナソニックPDP吉岡争議は、いよいよ最大の山場である最高裁での弁論を迎えた。非正規労働者の偽装請負や不法な雇い止め問題に最高裁が判断を下すのはこれが初めてである。弁論が開かれるということで、原告・吉岡力さんが職場復帰を勝ち取った大阪高裁判決が逆転の危機に瀕している。11月27日には、大阪高裁判決の見直しを許さないための闘いの一環として、最高裁包囲ヒューマンチェーン行動が取り組まれた。最高裁前には主催者発表で800人が集まり、ヒューマンチェーンの人波は最高裁1周をはるかに超えた。全労連、全労協などナショナルセンターの違いも国籍も越え、外国人非正規労働者を含めた実に様々な人々が結集した。(黒鉄好) 報告 *写真=報告集会で訴える吉岡力さん

Employees of “Sauna Ojo” near Ueno Station stand up against its closure

On November 3, 2009, the management of “Sauna Ojo”, located in front of Ueno Station in central Tokyo, suddenly notified its employees of the closure of the sauna on November 28. Many of the employees have worked at the place for more than 10 years, with some for more than 20 years. However, they have had no unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation insurance, no annual leave, or no pay for overtime or extra for working in late hours or on holidays. They were asked to leave only with a basic monthly salary, without any severance pay. The Tamayama, or Chang, family, the owner family, is going to abandon long-time customers and employees very easily. The employees formed the “Ojo Union” as an affiliate of the Haken (Dispatched Workers) Union on November 17 in order to defend their workplace. Your support is highly appreciated. (Haken Union) Blog of the Ojo Union


“Waiting for an answer from Transport Minister” ? Nov. 26 rally for solving mass firing of railway workers

The “Nov. 26 Rally for Solving Mass Firing of Railway Workers” was held at the Seiryo Kaikan Hall from 17:30 on November 26, 2009. It was hosted by four groups for demanding a political solution of the dismissal of 1,047 former National Railway workers. The number of the dismissed members of struggle groups and their families who joined the rally reached 365, the biggest ever. Lawmakers from the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party, the People’s New Party, Komeito (Clean Government Party) and the Japanese Communist Party also participated in the rally as guests. Nihei Hisakatsu, chairperson of the Joint Struggle Congress, emphasized that a solution is nearing, saying, “We have passed our demand for the solution of the mass firing problem to the Transport Minister through a congressperson of the DPJ. It is to request the solution to be concluded by February 16, 2010 so that every dismissed former railway worker can make a living, and we have specifically informed JR (Japanese Rail) of the number of persons to be employed and the amount of the settlement. Now it is the turn of the minister to make a decision”. (M)


Rediscovering workers’ culture of the 1950s ? Activities of Shimo-Maruko Culture Group

 Ota Ward in Tokyo is famous for many small factories. However, it is little known that there used to be many cultural activities in the area. It is said that, during the 1950s, youths working at small factories wrote poems, sang songs and voluntarily created picture-story shows in the southern district of Tokyo (Ota, Shinagawa and Minato Wards). Many songs, such as “No A Bomb”, were created in over 200 groups there. An event “Younger Days in Southern Tokyo ? Reviving Cultural Activities of the 1950s” was held on November 23, 2009 in Ota Ward to commemorate a reprint of a magazine of the Shimo-Maruko Culture Group”. (Anzai Tetsuo)


Making area in front of Nike HQ a public space ? Performing against takeover of park

 At noon on November 20, 2009, about 70 persons gathered in front of the headquarters of Nike Japan in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo to protest against a virtual takeover of Miyashita Park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo by the multinational corporation. They made the area a public space like the park by relaxing, playing music and performing in various costumes that expressed blue tents and trees there. The protest was eventually joined by homeless people in Shibuya, and all the participants delivered leaflets describing this problem to employees of Nike that has set fences for construction and attempted to expel anyone from the park, and to passers-by during lunchtime, appealing the emergent situation. (N)


The Intellectually Disabled Form a Union to Win Cancellation of Office Closure and Dismissal of All Employees

 On November 12, the Forum Engineering Chapter of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW)-Tokyo East established around 24 intellectually disabled workers held a media briefing at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to announce that we had succeeded in having the company management withdraw the decision to close the office and dismiss all employees. President Madono said, "When I heard the news (decision of dismissal) at first, I was afraid that the employees would lose means of living since many of them (working at that establishment) lived in a group home or company dormitory. However, we could make it withdrawn by joining the union. We appreciate encouragement we received from a lot of supporters. Thank you so much." The person in charge at the union headquarters said, "I would like to appreciate the management that sincerely listened to our appeal." At the end of the briefing, all participants joined in a chant for solidarity and fighting spirit (See thephoto). (Mitsuteru Suda at NUGW - Tokyo East) (Visit the blog.)


Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education Goes Ahead with "Recurrence Prevention Training" on Nezu and Kawarai --- Supporters Stage Action of Furor

 On November 11, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education went ahead with "recurrence prevention training" on Ms. Kimiko Nezu and Ms. Junko Kawarai shortly after it imposed punishment on them with six-month suspension for their refusal to stand up and sing Kimigayo, the national anthem of Japan (in a graduation ceremony at school). Early in the morning, despite downpour of rain, about 40 supporters gathered at the Metropolitan Teacher Training Center at Suidobashi to raise voices in protest. With no reason given for the training and no response made to several instances of appeal action, their furor toward the board of education was boiling. On this day again, they had a letter of request prepared to be totally ignored. The representative of the Association against Dismissal for Kimigayo attempted to enter the premises of the Center, saying "At least you should receive this," the board personnel hurriedly formed a human barricade. In push and shove at the entrance, they eventually received the request though unwillingly.
(M) Photo: Tokyo residents with placards 

 11月11日、君が代不起立で6ヶ月の停職処分をされたばかりの根津公子さん・河原井純子さんに対して、都教委は「再発防止研修」を強行した。どしゃぶりの雨にもかかわらず、早朝から支援者約40名が水道橋・都教員研修センターに集まり、抗議の声を上げた。一切研修の理由も示さず、数度にわたる要請にも応えない都教委に対する怒りは沸点をこえていた。この日も要請書を持参したが、まったく無視する態度。「受け取るくらいしてほしい」と「解雇させない会」の代表が、センター内に入ろうとすると都教委職員は慌てて人間バリケードをつくった。入口で揉めるなか、都教委はしぶしぶ要請書を受けとらざるをえなかった。(M) *写真=一都民がプラカード

Anger Manifested at Irresponsible Attitude of the Hatoyama Administration --- Rally in front of the Diet building with Okinawan Delegate

 During lunch break on November 10, 100 citizens got together in front of the Second Diet Members' Building for the House of Representatives to stage a rally "Article Nine Revision Blocking Association's Nov 10 Diet Building Sit-in." The Okinawan delegate unanimously expressed their anger at the irresponsible behavior of the Hatoyama administration concerning the policy toward Futenma Airbase. Mr. Ashitomi, representing Nago Council against the Helicopter Base Construction in Okinawa, expressed strong anger saying, "What's going on in the mind of Foreign Affairs Minister Okada when he mentioned his plan for integration of Futenma Base with Kadena Base happening? What is Prime Minister Hatoyama thinking about when he tolerated it?" The delegate's appeal action toward the Hatoyama administration and Diet members takes place on November 10 and 11 as President Obama's visit to Japan is scheduled on November 13. (Masanori Yumoto) See animation (Uniontube).

 11月10日昼、衆議院第2議員会館前には100名が集まり、沖縄の11・8県民大会上京団を迎え「9条を守り、憲法改悪を許さない11・10国会前集会」が開催された。沖縄の上京団は異口同音に、鳩山内閣の普天間基地政策をめぐる無責任さに怒りを露わにしていた。これまでずっと普天間基地県内移設候補に挙げられてきた辺野古の「ヘリ基地反対協議会」代表委員、安次富(あしとみ)さんは、「普天間基地の嘉手納基地統合案を語る外務大臣の頭の中は、一体どうなっているのか? その発言を許した鳩山首相は、一体何を考えているのか!」と強い怒りの意志を表明した。上京団は13日のオバマ米大統領来日を前に、10~11日と鳩山内閣をはじめ国会議員への要請を行なう。(湯本雅典)動画(UnionTube)

Five Hundred Demonstrators in Tokyo Protest the US Embassy in Solidarity with Okinawans against Base Construction in Henoko

With the issue of extra-prefectural transfer of Futenma Airbase in Okinawa developing rapidly in the wake of the approach of November 13 visit of President Obama to Japan, 500 citizens in Tokyo got together at 2:00 p.m., November 8, in Mizutanibashi Park, the Ginza, to march through downtown Tokyo in solidarity with the Okinawa People's Rally against Base Construction in Henoko that was concurrently held. The Tokyo rally was organized by the executive committee for preventing base construction in Henoko. With dugong-shaped huge balloons pt up and in various eye-catching costumes, they appealed to citizens out on Sunday streets of central Tokyo with chants, "Don't kill the sea of dugons!"and "Out with US bases in Okinawa!" After once disbanded in Hibiya Park,they gathered again in front of the US embassy for the rally representative to make appeal (TM at the reporting department) See animation on the Ginza demonstration.


Appeal Action at Musical Instrument Fair - Cort-Cortek Workers Union Korea and Freeters Union Fukuoka

 On November 7, at a musical instrument fair held at Pacifico Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, union members from Cort-Cortek Union Korea and Freeters Union Fukuoka staged publicity activities (see photo). Cort-Cortek Workers Union appealed for normalization of the plant now shut down and for dismissed employees' return to work. Freeters Union Fukuoka called for renewal of the employment conract for a piano instructor having worked for Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co., Ltd. as well as for collective bargaining, which appeals were addressed at both visitors and those companies. This action attracted artists from Korea and America and Japanese supporters, who enjoyed the lively time with vocal, instrumental and other performances. Among other things, improvised performance of the violin, pianica and horn, playing Arirang and Like Dandelion received cheers and applause. (Kuniko Ozawa)



Friday, November 20, 2009

No Need for law depriving workers of rights ~ 2500 gather at rally demanding revision of Dispatch Law

As Japan's employment situation becomes more severe, a rally to demand complete revision of the nation's Dispatch Law was held in the evening of Oct. 29 in Tokyo. Some 2,500 people came to Hibiya Open Air Public Hall, where they called the new coalition government to ban a registration system of temp work and realize their manifesto. To parliamentarians from the government and the opposition parties who spoke onstage, passionate encouragement, as well as difficult demands, were thrown. Satoshi Kamata, a reportage writer, said, "The Dispatch Law is depriving workers of their rights. This is a battle against company management that tries to protect profits they make by abusing workers." He then added, "The new government must give hopes and dreams to young people. Humans are not objects. Let's use the personnel cost to protect human rights. We should fight until we can live a decent life." After the rally, participants led the demonstration to the parliamentarians' headquarters and shouted slogans with them. (By Y) Photo report by N *Video on UnionTube & YouTube

雇用情勢がさらに厳しさを増すなか、労働者派遣法の抜本改正を求める集会が10月29日夜、都内で開かれた。会場の日比谷野外音楽堂には2500人が集まり、参加者は連立政権に登録型派遣の原則禁止、公約実現などを求めて気勢をあげた。ステージで発言した与野党の国会議員らに対しても、熱い激励と厳しい注文が相次いだ。ルポライターの鎌田慧さんは、「派遣法は、やらずボッタクリ法だ。派遣法を改正することは、ピンハネの利益を守ろうとする経営者との、天下分け目の闘いだ」。「新政権は若い人たちに夢と希望を与えなければならない。人間はモノじゃない」。「人件費を、人権を守る人権費に変えていこう。人間らしい生活ができるようにがんばろう」と訴えた。閉会後、国会請願デモに出発。衆参各議員面会所前で待ち構える各党の議員らとともに力強いシュプレヒコールを繰り返した。(報道部・Y) 写真報告N・動画(UnionTube)  ・(YouTube

Panasonic Dispute ~ 'We will not allow review of high court's decision' Human Chain Action at Supreme Court

Tsutomu Yoshioka, who reported fake outsourcing at Matsushita (Panasonic) Plasma Display Co. and filed a complaint on unfair dismissal on April 25, 2008, won the lawsuit at Osaka high court, which ordered the company to re-instate Yoshioka. The ruling encouraged many temporary workers and workers of unstable employment who fell victim to companies' illegal conducts. As the ruling was handed to the Supreme Court and pleas are planned on Nov. 27, concerns spread that the court would review the high court's ruling. Amid such an important period, the supporters surrounded the Supreme Court by creating a human chain on Oct. 23. Yoshioka, center (photo), led about 200 unionists from Nakama Union, Kokuro Joint Struggle Congress, Zentoitsu Union, Showa Shell Union and other unions to hold hands in demand for fair judgment. (By M) *Yoshioka Support Group HP


Japan Railway West Top Executives should Resign! ~Amagasaki Derailing ・Leakage of Reports ~

Although executives of Japan Railway West expressed their deepest regret, I don't believe they even understood what they should regret. We met and talked with bereaving family members of the victims. We feel that JR West should re-establish the company to the one that gives priority to safety. However, it has put a lid on the true facts and tried to conceal and falsify any inconveniencing information. The company executives do not understand such behavior would hurt the surviving families and victims. Unfortunately, it would be impossible for incumbent executives who have only thought about themselves to improve their way of thinking. I think that all executives should resign. (By Kokutsu Ko/ Safety Issue Research Group) *Safety Issue Research Group Website *Cartoon = Ichihanahana

「深く反省」とJR西日本幹部らは表明しているが、本当は彼らは何を反省すべきなのか、それさえ理解していないとしか思えない。われわれは遺族と実際にお会いし、対話するなどの活動を行ってきた。そうした対話の中から、私が考える反省の姿というのは、「JR西日本を安全な企業に生まれ変わらせる」ことである。ところが、真相に蓋をし、都合の悪い情報は隠蔽、改ざんしようとする。それがどれだけ遺族・被害者を傷つける行為かが理解できていないのである。残念ながら、国鉄官僚としてただふんぞり返るだけの人生しか知らない現首脳らに、そうした姿勢を取れといわれてもおそらく無理だろう。現首脳は総退陣すべきである。(安全問題研究会・黒金好)・安全問題研究会サイト *漫画=壱花花

The Pacific Beach Hotel Dispute ~ Union Gets Order of Relief

On Sept. 30, the National Labor Relations Board, which is equivalent to Japan's labor committee, issued an order of relief to the Pacific Beach Hotel that accepted all the union's demands. The order said the hotel re-instate the dismissed union executives, pay their salary during the dismissed period and sincerely respond to collective bargaining with International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union, as well as retrieving changes in working conditions that the company made without the union's consent. Because more than 70 percent of hotel's clientele is Japanese, Rengo, Japanese Council of Transport Workers' Union, International Union of Food Workers Japan Coordinating Council, All Japan Dockworkers Union, Japan Federation of Service & Tourism Industries Workers' Unions and others decided to support the struggle and took coordinated actions with requests from AFL-CIO. On Oct. 16, a rally was held in Tokyo to share the reports and to confirm that all supporters take stronger actions. (By T) *Website for supporting struggle; photo = protest action in front of the hotel


ハワイのパシフィック・ビーチ・ホテル争議に関して、9月30日、全国労働関係局(日本の労働委員会に相当)は、組合側主張を全面的に認める完全勝利の救済命令を交付した。命令の内容は、交渉委員らの解雇の撤回・復職・バックペイ、誠意をもって全米港湾労組との団体交渉に応じること、組合の同意なく実施した労働条件変更の撤回などである。宿泊客の7割以上が日本人であるので、AFL-CIOなどからの支援要請を受けて、連合や交運労協、国際食品労連日本協議会、全港湾労組、旅行会社やホテルを組織するサービス連合などが支援を決定し、相互に連携をしながら支援活動を進めてきた。10月16日には、勝利命令を受けての報告集会が都内で開催され、支援運動を強化することを確認した。(T)・争議支援サイト *写真=ホテル前の抗議集会

Do it right! ~Message to the new government 700 people gather at Anti-poverty event ~

A rally to demand the new Hatoyama government do it right was held at a Tokyo park on Oct. 17. The event was sponsored by Anti-poverty Network. Some 700 people gathered at Shiba park on the day, which marked International Day to Eradicate Poverty. The group's representative, Kenji Utsunomiya, said, "The anti-poverty caravan last year sewed the seed of citizens' movement across Japan and the seeds began budding. Makoto Yuasa was chosen as a policy councilor to National Strategy Bureau. We sent him there." The lawyer then added that the Tent City last year pushed the change of reign but the number of people who line up for free meals outside has doubled in a year. "The government should set up emergency measures for the yearend holidays," he said. The event participants together lined up to create the network's mascot, a poverty ghost named, Hinky (See photo), at the closing. (By Y)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

“A Normal Life, Please” is popular in London ? Knowing realities in UK and Japan

Tsuchiya Tokachi’s film “A Normal Life, Please” was shown and won favorable recognition at the Raindance Film Festival in London on October 10, 2009. Before the showing, Mr. Tsuchiya said, “I’ve heard that a trade union started from a pub in the UK. It is my great pleasure to have my film shown in the country. Thank you very much”. After the screening, Mr. Tsuchiya started to talk about the worsening situations of Japan’s construction industry when the facilitator told him, “It’s terrible to work for 500 hours a month”. “The root cause was the worsening of the Worker Dispatch Law in 1985, which was modeled after the anti-labor policies of the Thatcher Administration and virtually imported from the UK”, said Mr. Tsuchiya, and some audience agreed with him. (Matsuura Satoko, London) HP of the film

 10月10日、ロンドンで開催されたレインダンス映画祭で、土屋トカチさんの「A Normal Life Please(フツーの仕事がしたい)」が上映され、好評を博しました。上映前に土屋さんは、「ユニオンはイギリスのパブから始まったと聞いています。そのイギリスで上映できて光栄です。今日はよろしくお願いします」と挨拶しました。上映後、司会者から「500時間はひどいね」と切り出された土屋さんは、悪化する日本の建設業界の実態を語りました。「もともとの原因は、1985年の労働者派遣法改悪で、こうした労働者に不利な方法はサッチャー政権をまねたもので、イギリスから輸入したようなものです」と語ると、会場から「そのとおりだね」との声も上がりました。(ロンドン・松浦さと子)・映画HP

“House of Freedom and Survival” opens vegetable market ? Charity items also wanted

The “House of Freedom and Survival” in the Yotsuya district, central Tokyo, which was built for the working poor, will open the “Vegetable market for freedom and survival, linking production areas and cities, and homes, workplaces and food” on November 8, 2009. On that day, vegetables produced in Yamagata, Shimane and Chiba prefectures under a reduced amount of fertilizer or in a pesticide-free condition will be directly marketed by the farmers at the market. The “Vegetable market” is a job-creating trial by the working poor other than working under unstable employment or going entrepreneurial unstably. The place of the market is the “Square of the House of Freedom and Survival”, whose address is 3, Aizumi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan. In addition, the house wants charity auction items to support it. (Shimizu Naoko) Photo= Members of the “House of Freedom and Survival”

ワーキングプアのための住まいをめざして、東京・四谷に生まれた「自由と生存の家」が、11月8日に「産地と都市を、家と仕事と食べ物をつなぐ、自由と生存の野菜市場」を開催する。当日は、「自由と生存の家」で、山形、島根、千葉・三里塚の農家の無農薬、減農薬野菜を直売する。不安定な雇用で働いたり、不安定なベンチャー起業をする以外になにか生きる方法はないのか、自分たちで仕事を作れないだろうか、と考え、「野菜市場」を開催することになった。場所は、東京都新宿区愛住町3番の「自由と生存の家広場」。また、「自由と生存の家」を応援するチャリティーオークション品物を募集している。(清水直子) *写真=「自由と生存の家」の面々

Solve the struggle of 1047 dismissed former rail workers now! Kansai Cycle Caravan starts

The “Kansai Cycle Caravan” departed on time at 10 AM on October 5, 2009 from the South Square of Sannomiya Station of the Japanese Rail in Hyogo Prefecture, appealing, “Solve the issue of the dismissal of 1047 former National Railway workers now! Be in solidarity with non-regular workers! Treat us as humans!” A meeting before the departure was attended by about 50 people (photo) and facilitated by Mr. Okushi from the struggle group of the National Railworkers’ Union in Saga, who now lives in Hyogo Prefecture. Mr. Minoda from the struggle group in Kumamoto, who now lives in Osaka Prefecture, explained the history and purpose of the caravan, “We aim at not only solving the struggle of the dismissed former National Railway workers, which has continued for 23 years, but also being in solidarity with non-regular workers symbolized with the dismissal of dispatched workers”. After encouraging speeches and chants, the caravan departed. It will be carried out till November 9. (HP of the National Railways Joint Struggle Congress)

「政府は国鉄労働者1047名問題の解決決断を! 非正規連帯! 俺たちを人間らしく扱え! 関西サイクルキャラバン」は、10月5日午前10時にほぼ定刻通り元気に出発した。出発集会は、9時30分からJR三ノ宮駅南広場で開催され約50人が参加した(写真)。集会の司会は佐賀地区闘争団で兵庫常駐の大串さんが担当。大阪常駐の熊本闘争団の蓑田さんが「23年に及んだ国鉄闘争の解決だけでなく、派遣切りに象徴される非正規労働者との連帯行動の二つの目的で取り組む」とキャラバン行動の経過と趣旨を報告。激励の発言が続いたあと最後に、団結ガンバローをおこない、元気に出発した。キャラバンは9日まで行われる。(国鉄闘争共闘会議HP

Abolish nuclear power plant now! 7000 join the “NO NUKES FESTA 2009”

With people being more aware of global warming, a gathering for“denuclearization” was held at Meiji Park in central Tokyo on October 3, 2009, demanding the shift in the current energy policies centered on the use of nuclear power. According to the organizer, about 7000 people participated in the event. The gathering, “NO NUKES FESTA 2009”, was planned for the shift to nuclear-free energy and filled with various booths of trade unions, NGOs and other groups. Senryu, or satirical haikus from the general public were also displayed and subjected to vote by the “LaborNet Senryu Team”. The first section consisted of talk and music sessions, and some congresspersons like Fukushima Mizuho, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, delivered speeches in the second one. After the gathering, the participants started demonstrating through the Aoyama Avenue and the Omote Sando district with rhythmical dances and drum sounds that draw attention of passers-by. (Reported by Y) Image (YouTube)

脱原発へ!「NO NUKES FESTA 2009」に7000人が集う
地球温暖化防止の世論が盛り上がるなか、原発など原子力利用を中心にしたエネルギー政策の転換を求める「脱原発」集会が10月3日、東京・明治公園で開催され、約7000人(主催者発表)が参加した。放射能を出さないエネルギーへの転換を求めて企画された「NO NUKES FESTA2009」。会場には、さまざまなブースがところせましと並び、労働組合、市民団体などの旗が林立した。「レイバーネット川柳班」による公募川柳も展示され、シール投票が行なわれた。第一部のトーク、音楽のほか、第二部では、社民党の福島瑞穂特命担当大臣ら国会議員も発言した。集会後参加者は、青山通り、表参道を貫くパレードに出発。リズミカルな踊りとドラムの響きが、道行く人々の注目を集めていた。(報道部・Y)・動画(YouTube)

150 gather at Kencho-ji Temple Senryu Symposium? Heated discussions over personality of Tsuru Akira

The “Kencho-ji Temple Senryu (satirical haiku) Symposium”, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Tsuru Akira’s birth, was held at Oshinkaku of Kencho-ji Temple, Kamakura City on October 2, 2009, attracting nearly 150 people (photo). The symposium started with a Buddhist ceremony for Mr. Tsuru and his master Inoue Kenkabo, followed by a showing of a film “Tsuru Akira: Travels”, an awarding ceremony of senryu from the public, a commemorative speech, a panel discussion and a memorial reading session. Especially interesting were the commemorative speech about the life of Mr. Tsuru by Bito Sanryu, a senryu writer and the panel discussion about the current situation and future of senryu. Mr. Bito’s objective view to avoid deifying Mr. Tsuru invited some criticisms in the discussion, leading to heated arguments even including the facilitator. In the reading session, Wakachi Ai, a member of LaborNet, won the highest prize. (Ahokusai) Photo flash

建長寺川柳シンポジウムに150人~鶴彬の人物像めぐって丁々発止鶴彬生誕100年を記念する「建長寺川柳シンポジウム」が、10月2日、雨に煙る鎌倉・建長寺の應眞閣で150人近い参加者を集めて開催された(写真)。鶴彬と、その師である井上剣花坊の法要から始まり、映画『鶴彬 こころの軌跡』の上映、公募川柳の表彰式、記念講演、パネルディスカッション、そして最後に記念句会という6部構成だった。尾藤三柳氏の鶴彬の生涯を追った記念講演と、川柳の現状と未来を語るパネルディスカッションがとりわけ面白かった。鶴彬の神格化を戒める客観的な見方を提示した三柳氏の意見に対して、ディスカッションではそれへの批判が飛び出したり、司会も交えての丁々発止のやりとりは、小気味のよいものだった。句会では、わかち愛さんが「天」を獲得、レイバーネットの面目躍如たるところを示した。(亜北斎) 写真速報

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Labor Film Festa 2009 Makes a Great Success with Record High 220 Viewers

On September 26, Labor Film Festa 2009 was held at Zensuido Kaikan Hall in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, in its third year. In the face of the storm of new liberalism in today's world, eight films were screened, condemning the harsh working environment through on-the-ground reporting. Viewers of the day totaled to 220, making a record for the Festa. Although the program was so tough that there was no break between films, visitors appreciated it, unanimously saying, "Time has gone by before I know it." After the Festa was over, some of the participants joined the staff members as they had a celebration in a small park near the venue with rice balls, oolong tea and beer from a shop. Blown in the wind across the Kanda River below, they enjoyed singing, exchanging senryu (17-syllable satirical or humorous poems) and discussing the films screened. The outdoor interaction party lasted until deep into the night in gaiety with encounters with new people.(Y at Reporting Section)


Observe the Constitution and Protect Human Rights! - Appeal to the Court with Talks, Senryu and Likenesses

On September 25, teachers and citizens furious about a series of unjust rulings trampling down the Constitution staged a protest, "Action for No More Outrageous Act of Court" in front of the Tokyo District Court building. As color-printed fliers with likeliness of the eight incompetent judges, including chief Judge Shigeru Nakanishi, were distributed around the court building, 1400 copies were willingly received. With baloons on the sound car, about 100 participants made it a lively appeal action. Ms. Kimiko Nezu, Ms. Ikuko Masuda and others talked in a speech relay, followed by a satirical song featuring judges by Johnny H, they visited the court, Zenshiho (all judicial workers) union and the reporters club to appeal with a call, "Observe the Constitution and protect human rights! Change for the court, too!" At the and of the action, there was a seal-putting vote for best senryu (17-syllable satirical or humorous poems). The on ereceiving the most seals by far was "Just you wait, Judges. You'd better be prepared for we will judge you some day". The runner-up was "What do judges do? They do everything but read, listen or think, I'd say", followed by "Siding with power and capital, Screaming Court, not Supreme, it is." (M) Photo flash and animation (UnionTube).

憲法を踏みにじる不当判決の連発に怒った教員・市民は、9月25日、東京裁判所前で「おかしすぎるぞ!裁判所アクション」を展開した。中西茂裁判長など8人の不適格裁判官の似顔絵カラーチラシが、裁判所周辺で配布されたが、受け取りはよく1400枚が配られた。アクションの参加者は約100名、宣伝カーにはバルーンが上がり賑やかな要請行動になった。根津公子・増田都子さんら原告のリレートーク・ジョニーHさんの裁判官風刺ソングのあと、午後から裁判所・全司法労組・記者クラブの3ヶ所に「裁判所は憲法と人権を守れ。裁判所もチェンジを」と訴えた。最後に川柳シール投票の結果が発表された。ダントツの一番人気は「裁判官 裁いてやるぞ いつの日か」、続いて「裁判官 読まない聞かない 考えない」「権力と 財界守る 最低裁」だった。(M) 写真速報動画(UnionTube)

President Ed of the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) and Others Protest Toyota Headquarters Day after Day, Carryin

In 2001, Toyota Motor Corporation dismissed 233 unionists including the union president, aiming to bust the labor union of its subsidiary in the Philippines. Since then, TMPCWA has been struggling for eight years. Its President Ed Cubelo and Vice President Wenecito (Wenny) came over to Japan on September 15 in order to participate in the fourth world campaign against Toyota and have been attending protest rallies around Japan. On 20 and 21 September, protest action took place toward Toyota's headquarters located in Nagoya City and the main office in Toyota City. On 20th, starting at 2:00 p.m., 80 supporters joined in street appeal action in front of the main office building of Toyota Nagoya in front of Nagoya Station. In the evening, they had a national exchange meeting. On 21st, at 7:00 a.m., they started distributing fliers while appealing to the public in front of the main office and the plant that were operating even though it was one of the consecutive bank holidays. At 9:00 a.m., they started a protest rally, followed by a visit to the office by the action representative to convey protest. On September 23, an ILO investigation team will start on-the-spot investigation in the Philippines. It is no longer allowed for Toyota to evade responsibility. Photos by Takes hi Mori: Action in front of Nagoya Station, the solidarity rally, and the action at the headquarters. * Photo: President Ed Cube lo and Vice President Winny in front of the Toyota headquarters

トヨタ自動車は2001年フィリピンの子会社の労働組合を潰すために委員長ら233名を解雇した。それ以来8年間闘い続けるフィリピントヨタ労組のエド・クベロ委員長とウエニー副委員長は、第4回反トヨタ世界キャンペーンンのために今年も9月15日から来日し、各地でトヨタ抗議の集会を開いている。20日と21日、トヨタの本拠地名古屋市と豊田市の本社に抗議行動を行った。20日午後2時から80人が名古屋駅前のトヨタ名古屋本社前で街頭宣伝を行った。夜豊田市で全国交流会を持った。そして、21日午前7時から連休にもかかわらず操業中の本社・工場等でビラまき・情宣を行い、9時から本社前で抗議集会を開き、代表者が申し入れを行った。フィリピンではILOが9月23日から現地調査団を派遣する。トヨタ本社はもはや責任逃れを許されない。・森彪の写真:名古屋駅頭:連帯交流集会:本社行動 *写真=トヨタ本社前のエド委員長とウエニー副委員長

Winter Soldiers, Rick and Adam, Visit Okinawa - Developing Solidarity with Okinawans

On September 18, in Naha, an emergency rally was organized in the wake of the "administration change". People of Okinawa moved to clearly represent their will to urge the Democratic Party of Japan to keep their words in their election pledge that they would have Futenma Airbase transferred to outside the prefecture. (About 600 people participated. See the photo.) Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, Rick Reyes and Adam Kokesh said they "wanted to see the rally". On the site, they found a rally taking place orderly, showing deep resolve. While listening to background explanation, it appeared a strong feeling of solidarity emerged in them. The organizer of the rally welcomed the two and introduced them to the rally participants as "veterans going around Japan to let people know that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are crimes", which invited big applause. (After the rally, they marched to demand the return of Futenma and scrapping of the new base construction plan.) (Masumi Mukai, on tour with the two) Visit, and


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No More Tolerating of Massive Dismissals of "Non-Regular Workers"! -- Postal Workers Union going out on a full-day strike

On September 18, the Postal Workers Union went out on a full-day strike at three strongholds of the union chapters in the Kanto district. Among them, the Funabashi Branch of Japan Post Service Chiba attracted a total of more than 100 union members and supporters from early in the morning as they held the strike declaration rally (see the photo), virtually conquering the area in front of the main gate for more than two hours. The rally was conducted by overwhelming a team of ten plus company officials coming out for surveillance. Our strike this time was aimed at stopping massive dismissals of non-regular postal workers and drastically disadvantageous changes of the working condition that might accompany the integration of postal and door-to-door delivery services initially scheduled on October 1. We are determined to continue this struggle against firing of "non-regular workers" in the postal operations. (S at Postal Workers Union)



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Standing Up to a Giant: the Café Berg takes on JR

Café Berg is located close to the East exit of JR Shinjuku station and is famous for its quality coffee and beer, and divine food. Perfectly suited to the diversity of Shinjuku, the café is an oasis for men and women of all ages who can spend their time in the café in bliss. Despite its popularity, the landlord, Lumine East, pressured Berg to change to a fixed-term contract, and advised Berg that it would evict them by March 2003 if it refused. The reason given by the landlord for this threat was beyond comprehension: because Lumine is a building for fashion. Berg did not bend to Lumine’s unreasonable demand, and publicized its plight. Many Berg fans stood up to the call and there was a lot of media coverage given to the café too. March came and went. Lumine says that the eviction has been “postponed”, but in fact, Berg has managed to win a concession out of the giant JR. Let’s have a hearty celebration of this victory. All Berg fans are invited to celebrate this at the Shinjuku Noukyoukaikan Building on October 10th. Tickets available for the first 70 on arrival (Source: JR Watch) See Berg homepage for more information.

JR新宿駅東口から直ぐのところにベルクはある。コーヒー、ビールが極上で料理も拘りの逸品だ。雑多な新宿に相応しく、老若男女が至福の時に浸れるオアシスだ。このベルクに対して大家のルミネエストは定期契約への変更を迫り、拒否すると09年3月までの立ち退きを勧告。理由は「ルミネはファッションビルだから」だとか? ベルクはルミネの理不尽な要求に屈せず、事態を公表した。多くのベルクファンらが立ち上がり、メディアも多数取り上げた。そして今年の3月を越えた。ルミネは「延期」だと言うが、巨象JRを譲歩させたのだ。この事実を大いに祝おうと思う。ベルクファン集まれ! 10/10新宿農協会館・先着70名。(JRウォッチ) ベルクHP

Renters Stand Up Against Immoral Real Estate Agent Shinei Estate

On the afternoon of September 12, a meeting on the topic of the poor and housing was held at the Tachikawa Citizens Hall in Tokyo. Despite the rain, many participants and supporters turned up. Immoral real estate agents, while targeting society’s weak such as the unemployed, foreigners, elderly citizens, and single mothers, charge tenants for room inspections when tenants vacate a property and a late fee when tenants are late with their rent. On top of this, real estates have repeatedly broken the law by entering tenants’ houses without prior notice, changing locks, and destroying tenants’ property. On this day, a protest demonstration was held in Tachikawa against the immoral real estate agent Shinei Estate. To create a society where everyone can live with peace of mind, the government should guide such immoral real estate agents that Japan is overrun with. Our first step towards such a society is to propose to the government to slowly draft residential policies for minorities. (Written by Yu Negoro) Source: Negoro’s blog.

9月12日午後、東京・立川市民会館でハウジングプアをテーマとした集いが持たれた。小雨の降る中にも関わらず多くの当事者や支援者が集まった。悪徳不動産業者は、失業者や外国人、高齢者やシングルマザーなど社会的弱者を狙いうちに、退室立ち会い費や、家賃の遅延への制裁金の請求をしている。また、勝手に部屋に立ち入る、鍵を変える、私物を破棄する等の違法行為を繰り返してきた。この日は、立川にある悪徳不動産業者シンエイエステートに対して抗議デモを行った。安心して全ての人が住み、生活してゆける社会をつくるためには、全国にはびこる類似の悪徳不動産業者への行政からの指導、また遅々としてマイノリティーへの住宅政策を展開しない行政への提言をしていく事が、その一歩になるだろう。(根来祐) 当該ブログ

Don’t Tolerate Mandatory Celebrations: Anti-Emperor Exhibition Held

With the 20th anniversary of the Emperor of Japan’s enthronement to be held in November 12, 2009, an event opposing the mandatory celebration of the Emperor was held in Tokyo. Some 150 people attended the festival entitled “Anti-emperor Exhibition: Festival for Non-Worshippers”. A variety of exhibitions, and talks retold the true nature of the emperor system over the past 20 years from his enthronement. Attendants are shared the conclusion that Japan absolutely does not need an Emperor system. Rightwing groups gathered from 10.30 a.m. blasting noise from their trucks from Hakusandoori, the main street in front of the meeting venue, which was the Bunkyo-ku Citizen’s Centre in Tokyo. They blasted the venue with rightwing propaganda and repeatedly made threats. Despite such intimidation, the festival began at 11 a.m. and the talks, music and performances ran without a hitch until the close of the festival at 7 p.m. (Written by Y, Information Dept.) * Photos are the goods that were exhibited at the festival.

「天皇即位20年」にあたる今年11月12日を前に、奉祝の強制に反対するイベントが都内で開かれた。「ハンテン展<まつろわない者たちの祭>」と題した集会に、約150人が参加した。さまざまな展示やトークで、即位から20年を経た天皇制の本質に迫り、「やはり天皇制はいらない」との結論を共有した。会場の東京・文京区民センター前の白山通りには、午前10時30分を過ぎるとぞくぞくと右翼団体の街宣車が集結。大音響で建物にアジテーションを浴びせ、威嚇を繰り返した。集会は午前11時に開会。トーク、音楽、パフォーマンスなどが、午後7時の閉会まで演じられた。(報道部・Y) *写真=会場に展示されたグッズ

Trial Commences for Laid Off Dispatched Workers from Aichi Panasonic: “I won’t give up”

On September 3, the Panasonic Eco Systems trial commenced at the Nagoya district court. 25 people from 7 organisations gathered in front of the court and handed out flyers and publicised the trial. Tsutomu Yoshioka, a PDP plaintiff, came from Osaka to show support as did Sasanichiro, the Nagoya Female Union, ATU Support Citizen Group, General Union Tokai Branch, and Aichi Health Center. Two former dispatched employees gave impressive statements at the beginning before the court. Plaintiff A commented that “There were many other dispatched employees who were laid off like him. But everyone gave up saying that it’s useless to fight back. Today, I’ve managed to take this even to court. I’m very satisfied. (Written by Aichi Solidarity Union)


1. Union Badge Wearer Tsuji-san manages to Win Reemployment and stares down threat of dismissal

On September 1, the seventh hearing for Yoshiharu Tsuji was held at the District Labour-relations Board in Kanagawa Prefecture. 50 union members and supporters turned out for the hearing. This time Norio Kimura, the person who personally handed down the punishment, was cross examined. Kimura is the former Head of Personnel, JR Yokohama branch. Over the examination, the actuality of his unfairness was brought to light. Questions such as “Do you realise that unfair labour practices are a criminal offence?” remained unanswered as Kimura stayed silent. In addition, Tsuji-san signed a reemployment contract with JR on July 17. This means that he will be reemployed for five years after his mandatory retirement in February next year. Despite receiving threats of dismissal for wearing his union badge, Tsuji-san has managed to push these aside. Tsuji-san expressed his determination to keep wearing his badge until retirement, to continue his membership with the union even after retirement, and to continue the fight to nationalise JR through the spring offensives (Written by Masanori Yumoto). *Photo: raised fists at the end of the hearing.

9月1日、辻井義春さんの第7回審問が、神奈川県地労委で開かれた。傍聴には国労組合員、支援者50人がかけつけた。今回は、直接処分を下した木村法雄氏(元JR横浜支社人事課長)の証人尋問で、その不当な実態が浮き彫りにされた。「あなたは不当労働行為は犯罪だという認識があるのか?」という尋問では、木村氏は、答えられず絶句する場面もあった。また、辻井さんは7月17日、再雇用の契約書をJRとの間でとり交わした。これで来年2月の定年退職以降5年間の再雇用が確定したのである。JRの「バッジをつけ続けるなら再雇用はない」という解雇の脅しを、とうとうはねのけたのだ。辻井さんは退職まで国労バッジをつけ続けること、再雇用先でも国労組合員であり続けること、さらに労働委闘争を通じて原状復帰を勝ち取ることを決意している。(湯本雅典) *写真=審問終了後の団結ガンバロー