Zenroren holds its 46th General Council Meeting
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held its 46th General Council meeting from July 21-22 in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, to discuss the course of action for the period up to Zenroren’s next (26th) Convention next year, including reinforcements to the course of action adopted at the 25th Convention (2010). The proposed “Reinforcements to the course of action adopted at the Zenroren 25th Convention based on the work that has been done so far and the present situation surrounding the movement” was adopted unanimously. The meeting was attended by 201 members.
Forty-one members spoke (including statements in writing). Many referred to problems related to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami as well as the nuclear disaster.
Members from the three disaster-stricken prefectures expressed gratitude for the help extended to them.
A council member from the Iwate Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Iwate Ken-roren) said: “The Iwate Prefectural Citizens’ Council for Reconstruction has presented the prefectural government with a letter of request. There used to be three public (prefectural) hospitals in a tsunami-hit area. But the prefectural government’s reconstruction plan mentions nothing about restoring them. The postponed prefectural gubernatorial election will be held on September 11. Candidates will officially begin campaigning on August 25. I would like to ask for your help in campaigning, along with assistance in post-disaster reconstruction.”
A member of the Miyagi Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Miyagi Ken-roren) said: “Workers are severely affected by dismissals, termination of contracts, and cancels of employment. We have held five employment counseling sessions to help people solve job-related problems. We are determined to do our utmost to defend jobs and living standards.
A council member from Fukushima said: “We distributed 420,000 questionnaires in our prefecture. More than 1,000 people attended our prefecture-wide rally, which received a message from the head of Namie Town. Our federation is to participate in the prefectural council on compensation for nuclear power plant-related disaster. We will work to have the prefecture envisage post-disaster reconstruction that includes breaking with nuclear power generation. We will launch a movement demanding compensation for nuclear power-related damage and losses. We ask for your continued support.”
A council member from the Postal Industry Workers’ Union (Yusanro) said: “Our union members walked 8 kilometers to deliver mails in the firm belief that ‘it is our duty to deliver mails as quickly as possible’.”
A council member of the National Federation of Ship Cargo Checkers’ Unions (Kensu-roren) said: “Sixty microsievelts per hour of radioactive materials were detected on used cars that were ready for shipping from Kanagawa. It is likely that port workers are exposed to radiation without their knowledge.”
A council member from the Saga Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Saga Ken-roren) said: “Sixty percent of Genkai Town’s revenue is from grants from the central government. One in every six workers in the town has a nuclear power plant-related job, making it difficult to deal with the nuclear power problems. It is necessary to encourage union members to study about the problems and to take alternative measures to protect workers and local government.”
A council member from the Nara Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Nara Ken-roren) said: “The Kinki (Midwestern Japan) regional bloc of Zenroren-affiliated unions has organized joint efforts to send donation to the disaster-hit areas and conduct a survey on the Mihama nuclear power plant. We will develop our movement as a wide regional coalition to defend people’s security toward zero-nuclear power plants.
One council member said: “Workers engaged in removing debris in tsunami-hit areas are paid only 30,000 yen per dump truck even though local government contractors receive 60,000 yen per worker.”