The New Socialist Party (NSP) is planned to hold labor consultation campaign from December 1 through 14 across the country. This is the seventh round of the program. Last session of the Diet revised the Temporary Worker Dispatch Act for worse through which employers can use workers for convenience in managing businesses and let employees work to get worn out. The trend spreads throughout the nation. The NSP regards it necessary to open consultation offices to settle disputes in the workplaces.
NUMBER OF IRREGULAR WORKERS INCREASES
40% of Labor Force ? Irregular Workers
More and more irregular workers are produced. The number of temporary staff occupied 20% of the total workforce in 1989, but in September this year the ratio has reached to 40%, accounting 19.86 million workers, according to a survey of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. That means one out of every three workers is employed on the part-time basis. In 2014 the average yearly income of these workers was low, amounting 1.697 million Yen.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on November 4 ‘Comprehensive Survey of Diversified Forms of Employment’. According to it, 20.6% of the companies have employed an increased number of permanent workers, while 27.2% of them decreased full-time staff. The status of part-time worker is the most numerous, which occupied 59.3%, while as for a form of dispatch its percentage is 8.7%.
Serious issues lie in among the middle-aged temporary workers. Employers are happy as they can hire and fire at anytime. They enjoy benefits from the existence of irregular workers as they are a convenient tool in managing businesses. Temporary staff is a treasure, as ‘dry towels can be squeezed to get drier’. Capitalism allows employers to force laborers work, disregarding an employment contract, and impose harsh conditions on them.
Difficult Period to Find Good Jobs
People who graduated from schools in the period between 1993 and 2002, during which it was hard to find a good job, often change jobs from one workplace to another. The first group of people of the generation is now in their 40s. It is difficult for them to be employed on the permanent basis. In addition, labor is harder from a point of physical strength. The number of irregular workers who are 35-54 years old counts 2.73 million lately, which has increased sharply since 2000.
Mr. A, a 45-year old worker from Chiba Prefecture, says: ‘I want to be employed on the full-time basis, but I have failed. Though I am employed on the irregular conditions, I desperately cling to my job so that I may not be disposed of’. He graduated from high school in that hard period and was employed by a big logistics company. Later, due to his family affairs, he was hired on the part-time basis. Thereafter, he has drifted from job to job. He faced harassment in the workplaces on the daily basis.
Many workers do not know about labor consultations: ‘where can I have a consultation?’ ‘Does a councilor talk with me sincerely?
Black enterprises emerge. This year the so-called top companies, like Seven-Eleven, ABC Mart, Meiko Gijuku and a moving business company, Ari-san, are criticized as black.
These companies do not pay for overwork. They demand workers to compensate for merchandise misses. They do not give day-offs. They do not allow workers to quit. They treat workers as slaves. They claim: ‘work as much as possible until you die, if you make a poor show’, ‘you do not deserve to be paid’, ‘you must compensate for the loss if you quit’. Black companies are offensive.
Let’s Work to Help Workers!
We must not overlook companies that do not respect laws. Let’s campaign in the street that the NSP holds labor consultation weeks in December. Let’s call to workers who suffer from troubles in the workplace. Let’s call to workers who do not know about labor consultation. Let’s hoist our banner in the street to campaign.
Let’s share demands of workers. Let’s settle labor disputes. Let’s organize workers in the unions. The NSP will engage in labor consultation across the country.
November 24, 2015