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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 10 - 16  > Contingent workers at after-school daycare facilities in Sapporo win withdrawal of dismissals
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2017 May 10 - 16 [LABOR]

Contingent workers at after-school daycare facilities in Sapporo win withdrawal of dismissals

May 12, 2017
Contingent workers working at about 200 after-school daycare centers in Hokkaido’s Sapporo City have won extensions of employment with union intervention.

The Sapporo City government has the public interest corporation Sapporo Youth & Women’s Activity Association (SYAA) managing 200 city-owned facilities providing after-school care for elementary school age children.

Under the corporation’s work rules, a non-regular worker’s employment contract is limited to one year and can be renewed up to two times in general, while the possibility is left open for a contract renewal beyond two times. Because of this, some non-regular staff members have worked at the facilities for more than 20 years with repeated extensions of their contracts.

In February 2016, the SYAA suddenly announced the termination of employment contracts of non-regular employees at after-school childcare facilities who have worked for more than five years or who are 65 years or over.

Those who received the termination notice visited a local union in Sapporo to ask for help. The union named “Yui” organizes individual workers in the city and is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren).

“Yui” Chief Secretary Kimura Shunji said, “The Labor Contract Act which was revised in 2012 requires employers to respond to a request for an open-ended contract by a fixed-term contract worker with five years of service. The aim of the SYAA’s move is to evade this requirement.”

The union in February this year petitioned the Sapporo City government to fulfill its responsibility as the owner of after-school day care centers. A city government official said that due to staff shortages at those facilities, the SYAA should seek to convert non-regular staff statuses to regular positions. In the following month, at a collective bargaining session, the corporation announced its decision to withdraw the dismissal notices sent to 140 contingent staff members.

The 140 workers recently set up the “Yui” branch in their workplaces and are working even harder to achieve full-time positions for all contingent workers.

Past related article:
> Sapporo local union attracts temps [November 29, 2006]
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