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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 13 - 19  > No speakers at public hearing support 'zero-overtime-pay' system
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2018 June 13 - 19 [LABOR]

No speakers at public hearing support 'zero-overtime-pay' system

June 14, 2018
All the speakers at a local public hearing on a package of bills regarding "work-style reform", which the ruling coalition is pushing for the earliest possible vote, voiced opposition to the bills.

The Upper House labor committee on June 13 held a public hearing in Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture.

None of the four speakers commented in support of the government work-style reform proposal. They rather requested that clauses concerning the "zero-overtime-payment" system or the "highly professional work" system be removed from the package and that more thorough Diet discussions be conducted.

Sainohira Shin'ichi, who is the owner of a confectionary plant, said that his company develops products utilizing women workers' ideas for new items. Saying, "Overtime work hampers them from having an inspiration," he said the company is working on making cuts in working hours. He also said, "No one wants the zero-overtime-payment system," and asked the lawmakers present, "Please work to insert certain rules in the bills to prevent karoshi (death from overwork)."

Sato Michiaki, an executive of a local branch of the major national center of trade unions Rengo, said, "I demand that provisions on the highly professional work system be deleted as it encourages longer working hours."

Japanese Communist Party member of the Upper House Kurabayashi Akiko asked labor lawyer Takagi Taro about flaws in the zero-overtime-payment system. Takagi answered, "As long as companies have office regulations stipulating an annual 104 days off, regardless of whether these companies do not actually give workers the said days off, courts may judge their position as legal."

The public statement presented by Takeda Toru, an occupational health consultant who also had experience as an industrial physician, revealed that doctors cannot deny the risk of karoshi if patients work overtime for 100 hours a month under the zero-overtime-payment system.

Past related articles:
> Ruling block bulldozes through ‘work-style reform’ package bill [May 26, 2018]
> Karoshi victims’ families angry at Abe gov’t for intending to steamroller through bills to weaken work hour rules [May 17, 2018]
> JCP calls for work system in line with 8-hour workday principle [May 12, 2018]
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