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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 1 - 7  > Court nullifies Emirates’ dismissal of three female workers
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2017 November 1 - 7 TOP3 [LABOR]

Court nullifies Emirates’ dismissal of three female workers

November 6, 2017
Three Japanese female workers who were unfairly dismissed by Emirates, one of the world’s top five airlines, won a court order at the end of October that nullified their dismissals.

The three workers are members of the Skynetwork union which organizes individual workers in the aviation industry under the umbrella of the Japan Federation of Aviation Workers’ Union (Kohkuren). Commenting on the court ruling, they said, “With support and encouragement from the union and supporters, we won in our court battle. We joined the union to fight for a better work environment. We want to return to our original workplaces as soon as possible.” The union urged the airline company to settle the dispute by accepting the court decision.

Based in Dubai, Emirates flies to more than 150 cities in 80 countries. It is also the well-known fact that Europe’s major football clubs are sponsored by Emirates.

The three female workers worked in Osaka at the Dubai-based carrier’s customer contact center for ticketing. In January 2013, they formed a Skynetwork local in their workplace. Calling for solutions to power harassment, unpaid overtime, and other problems, the three workers requested the company to hold negotiations. However, their request was rejected.

In May 2014, the three were ordered to just be on standby at home after they refused to apply for the company’s voluntary retirement program which was introduced in line with the closure of the customer center. Four months later, they received a dismissal notice. In February 2015, they filed with the Osaka District Court a lawsuit demanding withdrawal of their dismissals.

In the court battle, the plaintiffs and their union pointed out the fact that Emirates earned over 100 billion yen in net profit every year and promoted aggressive schemes, including increasing the number of flights to Japan. They criticized the airline company for failing to meet the “four requirements for workforce reduction” established by judicial precedents, which include necessity of dismissal and efforts to avoid dismissal.

The Osaka District Court on October 23 issued a ruling recognizing that Emirates faced no urgent need for cutting jobs, invalidating the airline’s dismissal of the three unionized workers.

In parallel with the battle in court, the three workers lodged a complaint with the Osaka Prefectural Labor Relations Commission, claiming that Emirates fired them as part of its union busting tactics, which constitutes an unfair labor practice. The local labor relations commission in October 2016 ordered the world-famous carrier to retract its dismissal.

Past related article:
> Emirates ordered to revoke dismissals of 3 Japanese union workers [ October 15, 2016]
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