Yusanro asks ILO to urge Japanese government to push Japan Post to give contingent workers full-time positions or equal treatment
The government has told Japan Post to give its 100,000 contingent workers full-time regular positions. But the group actually has opened full-time regular positions to 65,000 contingent workers and only 34,098 people applied for the promotional exam. The exam was so difficult that the number of successful examinees is expected to be much smaller than this after the second stage.
Demanding that 100,000 of the contingent workers be hired as full-time regular employees and that Japan Post give contingent workers equal treatment, the Postal Industry Workersf Union (Yusanro) headquarters on September 8 submitted to the ILO relevant information and requested that the UN agency give the Japanese government guidance for responding to the unionfs demand.
Contingent workers are being discriminated against
Today, the Japan Post employs 215,800 people, including contingent workers.
During the two years after the privatization of the nationfs postal services, 6,000 full-time regular postal jobs have been cut. At the same time, the Japan Post group companies hired 15,000 contingent workers. There are five Japan Post group companies, and the number of contingent workers at the mail service is 155,612, higher than any other JP company. Most of these contingent workers are doing the same jobs or bear the same responsibilities as full-time regular workers are. But many of them are paid less than 2 million yen a year, far from being sufficient to live a decent life. They are working poor.hJapan Post has recognized that 64 percent of the 172,316 contingent workers are paid less than 2 million yen a year.
In Japan Post companies, contingent workers are discriminated against in annual paid holidays, child care leave, bonuses, commuter allowance, allowance for dependents, housing allowance, and overtime premiums. In 2009, while full-time regular workers received 1.32 million yen in bonuses, hourly wage contract workers received were paid only 320,000 yen. This disparity must be resolved as immediately.
The Yusanro union, which is affiliated with Zenroren, has exposed the harsh working conditions for contingent workers and requested the government to urge the Japan Post to offer contingent workers equal treatment based on the ILO Convention No.122 and ensure productive employment and just and fair working conditions and to ask Japan Post companies to give 100,000 contingent workers full-time regular positions, just as the government promised.
Union representations accepted by ILO Office in Japan
In the meeting with the Yusanro representatives, ILO Office in Japan Deputy-Director HAYASHI Masahiko said, "This request will be sent to ILO Director General Juan Somavia, and its copy to the Japanese government. The Japanese government, which has ratified ILO Convention 122, has the duty to report to the International Labour Office, theILO secretariat, what steps it has taken in response to this request. Later, the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendation and the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards will include conclusion reached in their reports, which will be sent to the Japanese government."
ILO Convention Number 122 (Employment Policy Convention) quotes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as stating that geveryone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment" and calls for "an active policy designed to promote full, productive and freely chosen employment."
ILO Convention 111, donsidering further that discrimination constitutes a violation of rights enunciated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, calls for "equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation."
Japan Post group's practices regarding the use of contingent workers are in disregard of the internationally accepted standards. It must promote contingent workers to full-time regular employees and improve the working conditions for contingent workers without delay.