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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 1 - 7  > Yamato transport decides to pay unpaid overtime to 70,000 workers
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2017 March 1 - 7 [LABOR]

Yamato transport decides to pay unpaid overtime to 70,000 workers

March 5, 2017
Japan’s largest door-to-door parcel delivery service provider, Yamato Holdings Co., on March 4 announced that it will conduct a survey of 70,000 workers, including delivery drivers, about their unpaid overtime. The company estimates that the cost needed to pay all unpaid overtime amounts to several tens of billions of yen.

Joint efforts by the Japanese Communist Party and a local union affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) both inside and outside the Diet finally bore fruit. It is expected that this outcome will work to change a culture of long working hours in the transportation industry notorious for a high concentration of overwork-induced deaths and work-related accidents.

At Yamato transport, delivery drivers are required to carry portable terminals to record their daily driving hours. They, however, have to do some clerical and preparation work before and after sitting behind the wheel. So far, they have received no payment for this additional work.

In June 2016, two Yamato drivers at a sales office in Kanagawa Prefecture visited the Zenroren-affiliated prefectural federation of trade unions, Kanagawa-roren, to seek advice on their unpaid overtime and filed a complaint with a local Labor Standards Inspection Office. After a two-month investigation into this problem, the labor law enforcement office issued a recommendation calling on the company to pay overtime to workers.

Regarding this issue, the JCP in November 2016 jointly with Kanagawa-roren petitioned the Labor Ministry to investigate into Yamato’s violation of overtime rules. In January 31 at a House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting, in response to a question by JCP lawmaker Tamura Tomoko, Prime Minister Abe promised to look into the transport firm. This move pushed the delivery service giant to take measures to reduce workers’ working hours and to pay them the overtime money owed.

Past related article:
> Labor bureau instructs major delivery company to stop wage theft [November 17, 2016]
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