Thursday, December 29, 2011

LaborNet TV Feature: “Don’t want to be exposed and die!” – Expose by ex-nuclear power plant worker

The final LaborNet TV program of this year was broadcast on December 15, 2011. Its guest was SAITO Seiji, an ex-worker at the Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture who organized the world’s first trade union for nuclear power plant subcontractors thirty years ago. What Mr. Saito said was shocking. “No skill is necessary to work in a plant. Most of the work is to remove radioactive matter from facilities with rags and cloths. Anyone can do it. However, it is necessary to arrange as many workers as possible to share exposure to radiation. We even use plastic wrap for decontamination. Nuclear power plants that look ultra-modern are, in reality, supported by primitive work. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is heavily contaminated, and workers there are supposedly risking their lives. It’s time to stop all nuclear power stations that sacrifice workers’ lives and contaminate their neighbors”. Mr. Saito organized 182 workers at that time, but the management of the Tsuruga plant even used the Self Defense Forces to crack down on them. He is determined to “continue activities to abolish nuclear power plants”. (M) Available on the archive * Photo: SAITO Seiji on LaborNet TV (center)

レイバーネットTVことし最後の放送は、12月15日に行われた。ゲストは30年前、世界初めて「原発下請け労働組合」をつくった元敦賀原発の斉藤征二さん。斉藤さんの話は強烈だった。「原発作業に技術はいらない。作業のほとんどは、人間が雑巾やウェスで設備についた放射能をふきとる除染作業。だれでもできる仕事だった。しかし、被ばくがあるので、人海戦術で被ばくを分け合ってするしかない。除染にはサランラップも使った。超近代的技術にみえる原発は、じつは原始的労働で支えられている。福島原発の汚染はひどく、作業員は命を投げ打って仕事をしているはず。もう労働者の命を削り、住民に汚染を強いる原発はやめるべきだ」。斉藤さんは、当時182人の仲間を組織したが、会社側が自衛隊まで使って弾圧してきたことを生々しく語った。「原発をなくすためにこれからも活動を続ける」、斉藤さんの眼が光っていた。(M) アーカイブ視聴 *写真=レイバーネットTVに出演する斉藤征二さん(中央)

I cannot afford to die! Apologize now! – 1,300 surround MOFA, demanding solution of “Comfort women” issue

On December 14, 2011, roars of right wingers and nationalists carrying Japan’s Hinomaru national flags covered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Despite the chaotic situation, citizens carrying placards and banners came to the building of the ministry one after another to immediately surround it. This day was when the 1,000th Wednesday demonstration of former Korean “comfort women” during World War II was held in Seoul. However, the Japanese Government continues to ignore their demands, and their rights have not been restored yet. The action to surround the MOFA was to urge the Japanese Government to resolve the “comfort women” issue. SON Sindo, an 88-year old former “comfort women” for the Japanese Imperial Army during the war, was on a wheelchair to join the action. Ms. Son shouted at the top of her voice among many news reporters, “Apologize immediately. I cannot afford to die yet”. The “human chain” surrounding the MOFA was finally joined by more than 1,300 persons, and succeeded in repelling the rightists’ obstruction. (M) Photo flash * “Asu mo Hare (Tomorrow is also fine)” * Video: YouTube (3 minutes 30 seconds) * 1,000th demonstration in Seoul, Korea (YouTube) * Photo: SON Sindo and her supporters encouraging together


12月14日昼、外務省周辺は日の丸を掲げた右翼・在特会の一団による怒号で騒然とした状況だった。そんな中、続々とプラカードや横断幕をもった市民が集まり、あっというまに外務省をぐるっと取り囲んだ。韓国の日本軍「慰安婦」によるソウルの水曜デモはこの日で1000回を迎えるが、日本政府は黙殺を続け、被害女性の人権はいまだ回復されていない。この日の外務省包囲アクションは、日本政府に解決を迫るものだった。88歳の宋神道(ソンシンド・日本軍「慰安婦」被害者)さんは、車イスで駆けつけた。取材陣が殺到する中、宋さんは「早く謝罪してほしい。死んでも死にきれない」とふりしぼるように叫んだ。「人間の鎖」参加者は1300人をこえ、右翼の妨害を圧倒し成功裏に終了した。(M) 写真速報 ・「明日も晴れ」写真報告 ・動画(YouTube・3分30秒) ・韓国ソウルの1000回目のデモ(YouTube)  *写真=支援者とエール交換する宋神道さん

Bill on “Fundamental Ordinance on Education” destroys education! Sit-in in front of Osaka Prefectural Assembly

On December 12, 2011, there was a sit-in against a bill on “Fundamental Ordinance on Education”, which coerces public school teachers to stand up and sing the national anthem “Kimigayo” at school events. Citizens protested against the bill in front of the entrance to the Osaka Prefectural Assembly from 10 AM to 4 PM. On this day, MATSUI Ichiro, the newly elected Osaka Governor, delivered his inaugural speech at the assembly. The demonstrators were appealing against the undemocratic bill while spreading banners and delivering fliers in the bitter winter cold. Even some employees of the Osaka Prefectural Government supported the action. KURODA Yoshihiro, the president of the Hotline Osaka against Hinomaru and Kimigayo (Hinomaru: Japan’s national flag), and a university professor also joined the demonstration. The supporters gave the demonstrators food and some bunches of flowers. This action is the first step toward the abolition of the undemocratic bill. (Tsujitani from Osaka)


12月12日、教育基本条例案抗議の座り込み行動が行われました! 大阪府議会開会中、しかも松井知事の所信表明が行われたこの日、大阪府議会正面玄関前で10時から16時までの6時間、のべ10人の府民が座り込み、教育基本条例案廃案を訴えました。横断幕を張り、道行く人々にマイクで教育基本条例案の本質を訴え、ビラをまき、ときには府職員の支援の言葉までも受けながら、冬空の枯葉舞うなかでの行動でした。日の丸君が代ホットライン大阪事務局の黒田伊彦さんも駆けつけられアピールされました。また、支援者のS大学のSさんも駆けつけてくださいました。支援者からは、おにぎり・中華まん・お菓子の差し入れがあり、なかには「がんばってね」とお花を持って来てくださった人もいました。今回の座り込み行動は条例案廃案に向けての第一波の行動です。(大阪・辻谷)

“10 Million Signatures” for denuclearization – 5,500 gathered in the rally

On December 10, 2011, 5,500 participated in a rally for “10 Million Signatures for Denuclearization” held at the Hibiya Open-air Music Hall in central Tokyo. The rally started with KANDA Kaori as MC, a professional storyteller who is active against nukes. OE Kenzaburo, one of the rally organizers and a Nobel laureate writer, criticized Japan’s Diet that approved an agreement to export nuclear power plants from Japan. Mr. Oe also strongly condemned the “rape” remarks of TANAKA Satoshi, former Okinawa Defense Bureau Chief, saying, “High-ranking officials forcibly implement (wrong) national policies while making such controversial remarks”. Mr. Oe appealed the movement for denuclearization be continued, saying, “Some doubt an effect of signatures, but wills of 10 million people will be reflected in the next election in any way for sure”. (Y)


12月10日、東京・千代田区の日比谷野外音楽堂で「がんばろう! さようなら原発 1000万署名」集会が開かれ、会場をうめつくす5500人が集まった。午後1時30分。講談師の神田香織さんの司会で集会が始まる。呼びかけ人の一人・作家の大江健三郎さんは、日本の原発を輸出する協定が国会で承認されたことを批判。また、沖縄での田中聡・前沖縄防衛局長の「犯す」発言に触れ、「高級官僚は、こうした問題発言をしながら、一方では『粛々とやる』などと言い放って強硬なやり方をしている」と厳しく糾弾。「署名が何の力になるのか、との声もあるが、1000万人の意思が集まれば、それは必ず何らかの形で次の選挙に反映される」と運動の継続を訴えた。(Y)

“Simultaneous firing at the age of 65” is not valid! – 5 dismissed non-regular workers protest

At the end of September 2011, all of 14,000 temporary postal workers of 65 years or older were simultaneously fired in all around Japan. Among them, five dismissed workers protested against the firing on December 9, all from the Tokyo Metropolitan area. They filed a complaint to the Tokyo District Court on the invalid firing and the working regulations in Japan Post providing the age of retirement for temporary employees as being antisocial and invalid. After filing, they held a press conference (photo). Some have worked long since before the privatization of the postal services, and some others were older than 65 when hired by Japan Post. Most of them have not been informed of the working regulations that specify the age of retirement at 65. Their contracts were automatically renewed every six months even when they became older than 65. This unilateral firing is caused by “deficits” according to the management of Japan Post, but it is totally unacceptable. The Postal Workers Union has expressed its support for the group of the plaintiffs. The group will invite more dismissed workers. (TADANO Dave) * Webpage of Postal Workers Union


この9月末、65歳以上の郵政期間雇用社員が一斉に「雇い止め」解雇された。その数全国で1万4000人に上る。これに対して12月9日、首都圏の5人の被解雇者が立ち上がった。解雇の無効と有期雇用社員に対して定年制を設けた就業規則そのものが反社会的であり無効であるとして、東京地裁に提訴した。提訴後、記者会見を開きそれぞれの想いを訴えた(写真)。民営化以前から長年働いてきた方もいれば、65歳を超えてから職場に採用された方もいる。65歳定年制を記した就業規則があることさえ周知されていない。そもそもこれまで65歳を超えても普通に半年ごとの契約更新をされてきたのである。赤字を理由とした一方的なリストラは許せない。郵政ユニオンも原告団を支援していくことを表明した。原告団は今後もその数を増やしていく予定。(多田野 Dave)・郵政ユニオンHP

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Central Labour Relations Commission Orders Immediate Reinstatement of Mr. Shiota: Labor Win Again in the Hankyu Travel Support Case

Central Labour Relations Commission issued an order on November 29 regarding the unfair labor practice by the Hankyo Travel Support. The case is regarding Mr. Takuji Shiota, a tour conductor of the travel agency and the president of the HTS Local of the National Union of General Workers’ Tokyo Tobu, who was practically fired in 2009 by being suspended from the assignment for allegedly damaging the company's reputation with the interview he gave the "Weekly Kinyobi." The Hankyu Travel Support has been ordered 1) to lift the suspension and duly handle Mr. Shiota as the registered tour conductor and 2) to remunerate him with the estimated one-year salary he was supposed to have earned had he not been suspended. We, the NUGW Tokyo Tobu, urge the Hankyu Travel Support to seriously reflect their wrong doing that was condemned in the present order, following the one of the Tokyo Labor Commission in February this year, and have Mr. Shiota back in his job immediately. (By Sugano, the NUGW Tokyo Tobu)
Photo: Mr. Shiota, center, in the press conference in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare after the release of the order


「週刊金曜日」の取材に応じたことで、阪急トラベルサポートより「アサイン停止」(事実上の解雇)を受けたHTS支部の塩田委員長の不当労働行為事件で、中労委は11月29日命令を交付した。内容は「(1)阪急トラベルサポートは、塩田さんに対して行ったアサイン停止を解除し、塩田さんを同社の登録派遣添乗員として取り扱わなければならない(2)阪急トラベルサポートは、塩田さんが就労していたならば受けるはずであった1年間分の賃金相当額を支払わなければならない」というもの。私たちは、都労委に続き中労委からも不当労働行為を断罪された阪急トラベルサポートに猛省を求めます。その上で、阪急トラベルサポートは塩田さんをただちに職場に戻すべきです。(東部労組・菅野) *写真=命令を受けての記者会見・中央が塩田卓嗣さん(厚労省)

Pleading Held at the Supreme Court: High Court's Decision on the Kimigayo Case Likely to Be Reversed

Pleading session was held in the supreme court on November 28 for the case filed by Ms. Junko Kawarai and Ms. Kimiko Nezu. The teachers lost in the first and second trials of the suit to gain the annulment of reprimands, one-month and three-month suspension respectively, that they were given for refusing to stand up along the Kimigayo during school ceremonies in 2006, a memorial ceremony in January in the case of Ms. Kawarai and the graduation in March in the case of Ms. Nezu. Since pleading in the supreme court is held only when the judges are considering to reverse the lower court's ruling, it is likely that the supreme court will decide on the annulment of the disciplinary suspensions. The ruling is due on January 16, 2012. "I am delighted to have had the pleading in the supreme court after a series of unjust rulings. The issues of nuclear power plants and Kimigayo are rooted in a same problem existing in our society. We must go back to the basics now, " said Ms. Kawarai in the debriefing session after the pleading. Ms. Nezu said "It is now impossible to speak freely in educational institutions. I hope the forth-coming ruling will help change such a situation." (By Yumi Sasaki) Photo: The debriefing session with the lawyers (center)


11月28日最高裁は、河原井・根津「君が代」裁判の弁論を開いた。原告の河原井純子さんは、2006年1月の記念式典、根津公子さんは3月の卒業式で「君が代」不起立をしたことに対する処分(河原井さん停職1ヶ月、根津さん停職3ヶ月)の取消を求めていたが、一審、二審とも敗訴していた。弁論は二審の判決を見直す場合に開くのが通例となっており、今回は停職処分の取消の最高裁判決が出る可能性が大きくなった。判決は来年の1月16日に出される予定。弁論後の報告会(写真)で河原井さんは、「あまりにも不当判決が続いたので、弁論が開かれたことは大きな喜び。原発も君が代も根っこは同じ。原点にたちかえるべき」と語り、根津さんは「教育現場ではものが言えない状態だ。おかしいことはおかしいと言えるようにこの判決が役立ってほしい」と語った。(佐々木有美) *写真=弁論後の報告会(中央は弁護団)

Let's Pass on the Baton of Kunio Hamagushi!: Highly Successful Event on the Labourer-Poet

An event titled "Now We Talk about Kunio Hamaguchi" was held on November 23 in a meeting room of the Musashino Hall in Tokyo. The venue was full of 133 participants, far more than the organizers expected in advance. (photo) In the event, the works of the labourer-cum-poet were vividly depicted through recitation of poems including "Cleaning Latrines" and "Tale of the Hell" and talks by musicians and other authorities. In her speech, Poet Itsuko Ishikawa named three major topics that Hamaguchi's poems dealt with, i.e. Asia-Pasific War, National Railway workers and peace movement. "Those on the war are particularly mighty: They describe his own experience including stabbing of war prisoners to death and deaths of fellow soldiers out of starvation and thus unveiled the reality of the so-called holy war. The war made Hamaguchi, a man who previously was not at all interested in literature, into a poet. He was then raised by the poets' league of Japan National Railway," she said and urged the audience to hold tight to Hamaguchi's baton and hand on to the forth-coming generations the foolishness of the war. (By M) ・Three-minute video "Poems by Kunio Hamaguchi"


11月23日、東京・武蔵野公会堂会議室で「いま濱口國雄を語る」というイベントが開催された。主催者の予想をはるかにこえた133人の参加があり、会場があふれた(写真)。会では「労働者詩人・濱口國雄」の詩の朗読(「便所掃除」「地獄の話」など)や音楽・関係者のトークで、濱口國雄の仕事が鮮烈に浮かび上がった。詩人の石川逸子さんは、「濱口の詩は(1)アジア太平洋戦争(2)国鉄労働者(3)平和運動の3分野があるが、とりわけ(1)の自身の戦場体験(捕虜の刺殺や仲間の饑餓死)を細部にわたって表現し、聖戦の実態を暴いた詩は強烈だった。文学に全く縁がなかった濱口を詩人にしたのは戦争で、育てたのが国鉄詩人連盟だった。私たちは濱口のバトンを引き継ぎ戦争の愚かさを次世代に伝えていこう」と訴えた。(M) ・3分ビデオ「濱口國雄の詩

Celebrities Appeal against the Education Ordinance by Osaka Restoration Association

Celebrities including academics, authors and actors issued an appeal in November 2011, expressing their objection to the draft Fundamental Ordinance of Education that has been proposed to the Osaka prefectural assembly by the ruling party, Osaka Restoration Association. They are concerned that the proposed ordinance would impose a serious problem not only on the Osaka Prefecture but also on the whole nation. The appeal was originally called for by Ms. Kayoko Ikeda, Prof. Shogo Ichikawa, Prof. Naoki Ogi, Prof. Masatoshi Onoda, Prof. Yoichi Komori, Prof. Manabu Sato, Prof. Tetsuya Takahashi, Ms. Keiko Takeshita, Prof. Masaaki Noda and Prof. Hidenori Fujita. Supporters include Mr. Jiro Asada, Mr. Takashi Atoda, Prof. Takeshi Umehara, Mr. Yoichi Sai, Prof. Yoshikazu Sakamoto, Mr. Ryotaro Sugi and Ms. Kaoru Takamura.
The Appeal against the Fundamental Ordinance of Education of Osaka Prefecture


研究者・俳優など著名人が「大阪維新の会」が大阪府議会に提案している教育基本条例案について、大阪にとどまらず日本社会全体にとって見過ごせない問題であるして反対アピールを発表した。呼びかけ人は、池田香代子・市川昭午・尾木直樹・小野田正利・小森陽一・佐藤学・高橋哲哉・竹下景子・野田正彰・藤田英典の各氏。賛同者として、浅田次郎・阿刀田高・梅原猛・崔洋一・坂本義和・杉良太郎・高村薫の各氏などが名を連ねている。 「大阪教育基本条例反対アピール運動」

"Get Rid of the Rule by Few! Get Rid of the Nuke Plants!" Satoshi Kamata Urged Workers

A workers' rally aiming for abolition of nuclear power plants organized by Japan Construction and Transport Industry Workers Solidarity Union, All Japan Dock workers' Union and the National Council of the National Union of General Workers was held on November 18 at Tamachi Kotsu Building in Tokyo. Mr. Satoshi Kamata, a well-known reportage writer, addressed the rally: "We who aim for a world without nuclear power plants are now in the middle of a fierce battle with those planning to restart the reactors currently at rest. We must work hard through to the victory. Only small parts of business community, politicians, academics and mass media are making profits out of nuclear power. An overwhelming majority of the population are against it, but they are not yet well organized into a political power. The nuclear power has been promoted as a national policy and politics can change the direction. Trade unions and activists must facilitate the change by turning people's will into a political power and leading the fight to liberate ourselves from the rule by few, the class struggle to break down the monopoly. To this end, it is important to make the movement easier for everybody to participate. Stop the complacency of the conventional movement with union flags. Seek for a new style. Be friendly to ordinary people so that they too can take part in the movement. Let's progress with our best efforts in actions such as 10 million signatures," he urged. (By M)