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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 14 - 20  > Labor Ministry panel recommends abandoning ‘tripartite principle’
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2016 December 14 - 20 [LABOR]

Labor Ministry panel recommends abandoning ‘tripartite principle’

December 16, 2016
The Labor Ministry’s sub-commission presented a report on December 14 which recommends the setting up of a new body under the Labor Policy Council to draw up labor policies without having to listen to workers’ opinions.

The Labor Policy Council, an advisory organ to the Labor Minister, consists of experts and representatives of labor and management. This is based on the ILO’s tripartite principle.

The report proposed to create a “panel” without labor representatives under the Labor Policy Council to talk about issues related to the self-employed and the overall employment structure. It concluded that it is “unnecessary” to discuss these issues at a tripartite body.

However, there are many cases where labor laws do not apply to temporary workers as they are unfairly categorized as “individual proprietors”. The problem of poverty has become more serious as Japan’s employment structure is changing with the sharp increase in the number of contingent workers. It is outrageous for a government panel to discuss these important matters without workers’ representatives present.

The Abe Cabinet has had advisory bodies excluding workers, such as the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, deliberate on changes for the worse in the Worker Dispatch Act and the introduction of a “zero-overtime payment” system, and has forced the conclusions on the Labor Policy Council. The government is now aiming to turn the Labor Policy Council into an organ that directly reflects the will of the administration and business circles.

***

National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) Secretary General Inoue Hisashi issued a statement on December 16 which condemns the sub-commission report and demands its retraction.
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