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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > Workers in May Day rallies resolve to protect 8-hour day and abolish ‘anti-conspiracy bill’
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [LABOR]

Workers in May Day rallies resolve to protect 8-hour day and abolish ‘anti-conspiracy bill’

May 2, 2017
On May 1, the 88th Central May Day rally took place in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park with 30,000 people, mainly union workers, participating. After the rally, the participants marched in demonstration through Tokyo’s three major downtown areas by holding placards reading, “Win wages promising a decent life with an eight-hour work day!” and “No to anti-conspiracy bill!”

At the rally, National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) President Odagawa Yoshikazu on behalf of the organizing committee delivered a speech. He emphasized the need to establish a government that abides by the Constitution. Criticizing Prime Minister Abe’s “work-style reform” policy as delusive, Odagawa called on the participants to work hard to achieve work rules to maintain a healthy standard of living as prescribed by Article 25 of the Constitution.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in his solidarity speech referred to the North Korea issue. He stressed that the issue should be settled through dialogue and negotiations, not by the use of armed force which would have devastating consequences. Shii also said that it is totally unacceptable for the Abe government to invoke the war laws by taking advantage of the tensions with North Korea.

Shii condemned Abe’s “work-style reform” for approving 100 hours of overtime a month which is currently set as an official recognition of overwork-induced deaths. He called on the participants to help build a society where everyone can live a good and decent life with an eight-hour work day. Shii also appealed for the need to increase solidarity with Okinawans waging anti-base struggles and to scrap the “anti-conspiracy bill” which paves the way for the imposition of a surveillance society suppressing civil liberties, including freedom of speech.

On this day, 308 sister rallies and marches were held across the country with 160,000 people participating.

At a rally held in Niigata, Governor Yoneyama Ryuichi, backed by an opposition parties/civil movement alliance, delivered a speech along with supporting representatives of five opposition parties, including the JCP.

Yoneyama said that improvements in workplaces with actions being made by the labor movement will help improve people’s lives, and expressed his determination to work hard to realize policies contributing to better working conditions and protecting people’s life and livelihoods.

Past related articles:
> Joint military drills will only further threaten North Korea: JCP Koike [April 25, 2017]
> Abe’s panel adopts pro-business action plan for ‘work-style reform’ [March 29, 2017]
> Shii in May Day rally calls for change of Abe gov’t in order to protect workers’ rights [May 2, 2016]
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