Last year we were approached by teachers at Hokkaido International School looking to unionize. Given that the company is located in Sapporo, and we could not legally enforce collective bargaining in Osaka, we decided it was best to find a local union.
Sapporo General Union (unrelated to General Union) does not actively seek foreign members but when we approached them they decided to take up HIS. It helped that there were potential members fluent in Japanese.
We wish them well in their endeavors and encourage other International School workers to unionize.
*****from the Sapporo General Union*****
Early in the New Year, SGU welcomes new friends. They work at a comprehensive school which serves students from preschool through high school. The school employs over 40 workers at the main campus in Hiragishi and another in Niseko. Since its formation, the Union has had a majority of these workers as members. Main goals include democratization of the workplace and the lifting of fixed term limits on contracts.
Since formation, “his Labor” has engaged twice in collective bargaining. From the start, school administration has welcomed the Union. The Head of School was quoted saying, “I know in speaking with the Board Chair that we support the right of Hokkaido International School employees to join a union... I have no personal hesitation to conclude a labor agreement...” Furthermore, he pledged to negotiate with integrity, saying,“...the institution has no intention of infringing upon the labor union law nor unfair labor practices.”
Moving forward, the Union will continue to work towards democratization of the workplace as this was the major driving force for union formation. In addition, the Union will strive toward conclusion of a labor agreement and will take part in further sessions of collective bargaining. Let's give our heartfelt support to his Labor in these efforts!