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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 23 - 29  > Former JNR workers settle 23-year legal battle over unfair dismissals
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2010 June 23 - 29 [LABOR]

Former JNR workers settle 23-year legal battle over unfair dismissals

June 28, 2010
Former Japan National Railways workers’ 23-year-long legal battle over their unfair dismissals reached a settlement on June 28 in the Supreme Court.

In 1987, when the JNR was privatized and broken up, successor companies of JR refused to hire the former 1,047 JNR workers who were members of either the National Railways Workers’ Union (Kokuro) or the All National Railway Locomotive Engineers’ Union (Zendoro). The 1,047 workers filed five lawsuits with the Tokyo District Court against the government, complaining that JR companies discriminated against them in their reemployment policy because their unions had opposed the government policy to privatize the JNR.

The settlement was made in accordance with the government package which was proposed on April 9 and was accepted by both Kokuro and Zendoro.

Under the government settlement package, 904 plaintiffs will receive an average of 2.2 million yen per person in compensation. In return, the plaintiffs will drop their lawsuits. The government will also request JR companies to hire those who want to work at JR.

With the settlement, the legal battle has come to an end. The remaining issue is whether JR companies will employ former JNR workers. As the government proposal stated, there is no guarantee of employment because the government cannot force JR to hire those workers.

The plaintiffs’ group and their lawyers’ group in their statement said, “We will make the utmost effort to achieve employment for those workers who want to work at JR.”
- Akahata, June 28, 2010
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