You may have just started working
in Japan or you may have been here for a while,
but something just doesn’t feel quite right.
Your hours seem to be going up along with your
responsibilities, but your pay is not. Perhaps
you have made your concerns known but have been
threatened with a place in the unemployment statistics.
in your home country, unions are a force to be
reckoned with, especially concerning workers’
rights. However, in Japan it is not uncommon for
employees to without union representation.
might be time for you to investigate joining the
the General Union, all types of workers are represented.
Undoubtedly the majority of those workers are
from English teaching-related professions, but
anyone, whether part-time or full-time, can become
a member of the General Union.
What steps can you take to help recognize your
rights as a worker? Well, with the assistance
of experienced Union members (Japanese and foreign)
you and your co-workers can form a branch of the
union within your company to achieve substantial
improvements in conditions. Of course “the
size and determination of your branch are both
important considerations in deciding what improvements
your branch can achieve“(General Union website).
get the unionization ball rolling, it may require
a lot of legwork, but remember, union professionals
can help you along the way. Also, consider this:
employers can fire non-union employees for complaining
about their pay or conditions. However, trade
union law protects employees for being dismissed
for these same reasons. It is a rare occasion
that finds employers picking fights with strong
and well organized worker’s unions here
please do not think that by joining the union
you will be able to springboard a workers’
rights revolution. However, if you are serious
about improving or at the very least, maintaining
your current working conditions, you may want
to give the General Union a shout.
more information, visit their website (http://generalunion.org)
or make contact by phone, fax (052) 561-8555,
or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tree would like to thank the General Union for
allowing us to source information from their website.