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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 8 - 14  > Sony union members win closure of ‘room’ to humiliate workers
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2014 October 8 - 14 [LABOR]

Sony union members win closure of ‘room’ to humiliate workers

October 13, 2014
A workers’ union at a Sony Corporation subsidiary has succeeded in making the company close a room which the management used to force workers to quit their jobs.

The Sony Sendai Technology Center, located in Tagajo City in Miyagi Prefecture, had confined its workers in the room and had them stay there with nothing to do with the aim of pressuring them to resign. It has recently come to light that the room was closed in August this year. The head office of Sony Corp. declined to comment on this issue in response to Akahata’s inquiry.

The Sony workers’ union Sendai branch announced that five workers, who had been shut up in the room as of July this year, were “released” and are now working in the firm.

Sony’s unfair labor practices emerged as a social issue last year due to the union’s campaign and a series of reports by Akahata. Faced with public criticism, the affiliated company changed tactics and pressed employees to choose either leaving their jobs or accepting a transfer to another factory that takes more than two hours to commute to.

In July 2013, two union members applied for labor tribunal proceedings with the Sendai District Court, demanding the retraction of the company’s order sending them to the distant factory. By the end of August this year, almost all of the transferred workers were reinstated in their former office. Both the union and the tech center stated that they finally came to a mutually acceptable agreement.

The union branch’s chair Matsuda Takaaki said, “The closing of the notorious room is attributed to union members’ tenacious struggles and strong support from the general public.”

Past related article:
> Sony union workers look to labor tribunal to have their forced transfers voided [July 24, 2013]
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