2007 Spring Struggle
Day of action calling for job security and wage increase
On March 6, a day of action for job security and wage increase brought together about 8,000 people in the Kasumigaseki district (government office district) in Tokyo. Some of them took to the streets in the early morning for a publicity campaign organized by the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) Liaison Council of Part-Time Workers’ Unions and Women’s Committee, followed by concerted action led by the Joint Struggle Council of Transport Workers’ Unions. Participants from the Liaison Council of Public Service Employees Unions converged on government offices in Kasumigaseki.
The noon rally at the Hibiya Amphitheater was attended by about 3,800 people. Participants then took part in marches to the Diet (parliament) or through the Ginza street, the main downtown shopping district. Some participants staged a protest at the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) head office.
Solve the problems of ‘working poor’, the income gap and poverty
JIGAMI Kazuko participated in the day of action from Miyagi Co-op Workers’ Union together with her co-workers said, “We are demanding more than 1,000 yen an hour for every part-time worker and more than 700 yen for non-regular workers.”
Speaking at the meeting at the Hibiya Amphitheater, Zenroren President BANNAI Mitsuo said, “Let’s voice our objection to anything that we find wrong. We must say it’s wrong that we are underpaid for our hard work. How ridiculous it is for large corporations to
get tax breaks while working people are forced to pay more in taxes. We must say it’s wrong to revise the Labor Law to legalize unpaid overtime work.” Participants responded to his speech by shouting “That’s right!”
Bannai said, “All workers, small business owners, and farmers should join forces to advance the Spring Struggle.”
Korean Government Employees Union Vice President Han Seok Woo, who was in Japan to attend a solidarity conference sponsored by the Japan Federation of Prefectural and Municipal Workers’ Unions (Jichiroren), spoke in solidarity with the participants in the action.
Representatives of the Joint Struggle Council of Transit Workers Unions and the Liaison Council of Government Employees Unions spoke about their struggles.
Zenroren’s youth and women’s committees presented their artistic performance, which caused laughter.
After the rally, participants walked in demonstration through the Ginza shopping district.
About 900 people took part in the action in front of the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren). ODAGAWA Yoshikazu, Zenroren secretary general, spoke on behalf of the organizers. Full of determination to successfully wage the Spring Struggle, the participants made shouts at Nippon Keidanren.
Transport workers take part in concerted action calling for safety
On March 6, about 1,500 people from the Joint Struggle Council of Transportation and Transit Workers Unions which consists of the All Japan Federation of Automobile Transport Workers’ Unions (Jiko-soren), the National Federation of Ship Cargo Checkers’ Unions (Kensu-roren), and the All Transport Ministry Employees Union (Zen-un’yu), held a day of action in the Kasumigaseki district. They took part in publicity action and petitioning to the Land, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry for transportation safety.
SUGIYMA Tadashi on behalf of the organizers spoke on three main issues, pointing out:
Deregulation in the transportation sector has threatened to safety and easiness in mass transit as well as the trucking business.
Deregulation in the transportation has destroyed wages and employment.
Let us oppose the bill to establish procedure for a national referendum aimed at the adverse revision of the Constitution.
He also called for victories in the nationwide local elections and the House of Councilors election.
After the action, representatives of the All Japan Construction, Transport and General Workers’ Union (Kenkoro) and other unions as well as federation participating in the day’s action petitioned the Land, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.
ISAGO Tatsuya, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the state demanding damages for Sendai taxi cab drivers (Zenjiko Miyagi prefectural federation) said, “I will testify in court particularly for young workers how the deregulation contributed to decreasing our incomes. I am very impressed by the large number of participants in the day of action.
Individual unions participating in the Central Day of Action carried out petitioning to the ministries and government agencies concerned. They also visited a general contractor construction company.