triple alliance of a construction company, police and prosecution authorities
have been attacking a trade union, the Concrete Mixing Branch Union of Kansai Area
belonging to the National Solidarity Trade Union of Construction and Transport
Workers. No indication of ending is seen. The offensive aims to destroy the
trade union, violating the rights stipulated in the Article 28 of the
constitution. The controversy represents unprecedented injustice in the history
of labor-employer relations of this country after the World War II. Repression
on trade unions using a context of conspiracy means to wipe out the
constitutional rights of workers.
LOOK OVER SYMPTOMS BRINGING US TO DARK SOCIETY
union movements in Japan
is happening at the moment in the trade union, the Kansai Concrete Mixing
Branch Union, reminds us of the pre-war periods when trade union movements were
prohibited in Japan.
Or, it is similar to what occurred in England in the 19th
century when workers fought to gain approval of union movements.
England a law to forbid workers’ unity was repealed in 1824, the trade union
act was implemented in 1871 to free union activities from persecution of
criminal penalty, and the 1906 act on labor conflicts gave workers the right to
be exempted from the responsibility for compensation of losses.
achievements are incorporated in Article 28 of the constitution, which
stipulates that ‘the right of workers to organize and to bargain and act
collectively is guaranteed’. In the afore-mentioned trade union, however, the company
continues to mercilessly suppress workers, infringing the constitutional
Kansai-area union went on strike in December, 2017, to demand to put the agreement
into practice that transport fee shall be proportionally heightened with
surging prices of ready-mixed concrete. The company’s management decided to
crack down the strike, taking hostile attitudes to workers; it set up the
headquarters to charge forcible obstruction of business and organized crimes,
engaging in unfair labor acts.
August last year the police authority of Shiga Prefecture
arrested Take Ken’ichi, President of the said trade union, and other leaders.
In total 67 workers were arrested, including those detained by police of Osaka and Kyoto
Prefectures. The company employed
racists for a propaganda campaign, who accuse that the union is a gang group in
the name of trade union. Legitimate strike was made to be a criminal offense.
The company attempts to formulate a crime of conspiracy, using management power
to demolish the union.
June the Kyoto
local police arrested seven leaders of the same union on charge of suspicion of
duress and blackmail. The incident attributes to confrontation in which an
irregular worker, after becoming a union member, demanded the company to hold a
collective bargaining meeting to ask for proceedings of the labor insurance
plans and for overtime work payment. The company rejected the request. Four
months later the company closed business, and, practically, the worker was sacked.
another occasion when the said worker asked the company to issue a certificate
of employment as he needed one to present to a nursery school for his children,
the request was turned down. Such a document had been given without any trouble
before his union membership. The trade union leaders protested several times,
asking the company to treat sincerely. These actions were made attempted
a trade union asks a company to comply with laws, the activities are labeled as
‘blackmailing’, and when it engages in persuasion efforts in the process of
conflict, they are regarded as forcible obstruction of business. Union leaders
who were not present at the negotiation table were arrested because of ‘conspiracy’.
power seen in background
intervention and suppression by state’s authorities are always present in the
citizens’ movements, too: for instance, movements of residents against
construction of tall buildings, wind power generation plants and etc. Trade
unionists who demand rightly are attacked and active citizens who present legitimate
demands are suppressed. Behind the scenes lies secret maneuver of state’s
authorities, including police and security organizations.
is happening at a point may be grown to be a line, and then to be a plane. It will
be too late, if we overlook illicit phenomena.