Stop the labor ebig bangf and establish rules for decent work
A concerted day of action that included a rally in opposition to the ongoing deregulation of the labor market took place on March 23 with many unions of different national affiliation participating. Participants included representatives of unions affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade unions (Zenroren), the National Trade Union Council (Zenrokyo) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo). Joined by representatives of three opposition parties, they expressed determination to develop the opposition movement and help raise the level of public awareness of the issue.
About 500 people carrying placards marched in demonstration chanting opposition to the adverse labor law reform and calls for labor legislation to enable workers to work with dignity. At the entrance of the visitorsf entrances to both Houses of the parliament, Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party members met the demonstrators and encouraged them.
Common action by unions irrespective of national affiliation
The March 23 rally to stop the abolition of working hour regulation and the labor ebig bangf was sponsored by an organizing committee set up just for the day of action. The move developed last November in opposition to the government Council on Economic and Fiscal Policyfs plan to set up a panel of experts to discuss the issue of deregulating labor laws. Aware of the possible comeback of the white-collar exemption bill, which was given up in the last session of the Diet, unions joined forces regardless of difference of national affiliation.
Let us quickly increase the movement and heighten public awareness
Speaking on behalf of the organizers, lawyer NATSUME Ichiro, deputy secretary general of the Labor Lawyers Association of Japan, stressed the unionsf movement has successfully had the white-collar exemption bill shelved along with the bill to allow employers to fire by using severance pay. He went on to say, gWe know for sure that business leaders will try to strike back. We must not stop fighting at this point. The labor reform plans that have been proposed have many problems to solve.h He warned that the government, the ruling parties, and business circles are preparing to launch a Japanese version of labor ebig bang.fh
Democratic Party member of the House of Councilors SUZUKI Hiroshi, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives TAKAHASHI Chizuko, and Social Democratic Party President FUKUSHIMA Mizuho spoke on the situation in the Diet and expressed determination to do their utmost to amend the proposed labor bills to serve the workersf interests. (Zenroren, April 15, 2007)