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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 November 16 - 22  > Labor bureau instructs major delivery company to stop wage theft
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2016 November 16 - 22 [LABOR]

Labor bureau instructs major delivery company to stop wage theft

November 17, 2016
It has come to light that the labor law enforcement authorities in Yokohama City instructed Yamato Transport Co., Japan’s largest company in the delivery service industry, to stop forcing its employees to work overtime without pay.

Two truck drivers working at Yamato and officials of the Kanagawa Federation of Trade Unions (Kanagawa-roren) revealed this illegal practice on November 16 at a news conference in the Labor Ministry office building.

In June 2016, the two men in their 30s asked Kanagawa-roren for advice regarding the fact that the company is cutting down on its expenses for overtime pay by undercounting hours of overtime worked. In response to the union’s demand, a Labor Standards Inspection Office in Yokohama instructed the firm to take corrective action and urged it to submit a concrete plan to improve its labor practices. The two workers claim about 1.9 million yen each for their unpaid overtime.

Yamato has its truck drivers carry portable terminals for collection and delivery and manages their working hours with the devices. According to the two men, the firm does not count hours needed for drivers to prepare for deliveries at the distribution centers and check invoices after returning to the centers.

The labor-management agreement at Yamato sets the upper limit on truck drivers’ overtime at 95 hours a month. One of the two drivers worked more than 100 hours overtime a month in five months between June 2014 and December 2015. The other worked over 100 hours overtime a month in four months between June 2014 and June 2016.

Yamato Holdings Co. President Yamauchi Masaki serves as a member of the Labor Ministry’s panel to discuss the Abe government-led “work-style reforms”. In 2014, the ministry awarded Yamato Transport Co. a “Kurumin” mark, designating it as an “ideal company” for workers.

Past related article:
> Former Labor Minister apologizes for certifying Dentsu as ‘worker-friendly’ company [October 31, 2016]
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