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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 29 - December 5  > Network set up to block dismissal of contingent workers at Tohoku University
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2017 November 29 - December 5 [LABOR]

Network set up to block dismissal of contingent workers at Tohoku University

November 30, 2017
Seeking to protect more than 3,000 contingent workers against Tohoku University’s unfair dismissal plan, union activists and lawyers in Miyagi Prefecture on November 28 set up a network.

An inaugural meeting of the network took place in Sendai City on the day.

Representing the network initiating organizations, Takahashi Masayuki, the president of the Miyagi Prefectural Federation of Trade Unions (Miyagi-roren) which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), gave a speech. He said, “We have to work hard to increase support for our demand to block Tohoku University’s dismissal of non-regular workers not only inside the university but also among Miyagi citizens.”

Tohoku University changed its employment rules apparently with the aim of evading the Labor Contract Law which requires employers to offer an open-ended contract to non-regular employees who have worked there for more than five years. The university administration placed a five-year ceiling on the contract period and introduced a system under which fixed-term contract workers with at least three years of service can obtain an open-ended employment contract if they pass an exam.

Tohoku University labor union chair Katayama Satoshi referred to the results of this year’s screening examination which the university announced earlier on the day. According to the announcement, 800 non-regular employees took the exam and 669 passed.

Katayama cited the fact that half of 1,140 fixed-term contract employees whose contract period will soon reach the five-year limit were even prevented from applying to take the exam, expressing his determination to push the university to provide non-regular workers with indefinite contracts.

Labor union officer at Nagoya University Sasaki Yasutoshi delivered a solidarity speech and said that union efforts won rules which enable fixed-term employees to acquire open-ended contracts without having to take an exam in principle.

In the meeting, the network resolved to help contingent workers under similar situations as Tohoku University employees gain open-ended contracts.

Past related articles:
> Tohoku Univ. will review plan to dismiss fixed-term contract workers [ November 1, 2016]
> Contingent workers at Tohoku Univ. fighting back against dismissal plan [ June 8, 2016]
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