Disasters at Gaba Corporation
You are a Gaba Kids instructor. You have a shy five year old boy next to you who knows a lot of animal names and can count to 30 and reply to English greetings. You arrived in Japan six months ago and can barely speak any Japanese. An earthquake hits, your first.
The building shakes, the flimsy partition walls sway. You look at the glass above you and wonder - will it break? Someone told you a booth exploded in Omiya LS during the March 11th earthquake.
Hiding Sexual Harassment by clients at Gaba
If you have been following our news you know that the union has dealt with sexual harassment of instructors by Gaba students. Some cases have been quite extreme. Things improved to some degree when, frustrated by the lack of action by Gaba management, members went to The Japan Times.
The paper ran with the issue, publishing two articles on sexual harassment in eikaiwa in June and September last year. This forced Gaba to allow instructors to block inappropriate students from their schedules much more easily. At negotiations, a number of problematic students were discussed. One particular student was discussed in detail.
We will not be intimidated by GABA!
Gaba negotiations, 2pm at our Osaka office tomorrow. If talks fail we will be taking a vote to launch an unfair labor practice case against the company. Preliminary permission has already been given but we want to make sure all members are on board.
We believe that under both the Constitution and the Trade Union Law, workers have the right to organise a union and that means distributing union materials - even on company premises.
Gaba does care about our safety after all
The Metropolitan Tokyo Ordinance on Measures for Stranded Persons came into force in 2013. It states that companies in the Tokyo area must stock up on water, food and other provisions in case of emergencies and workers are stranded in the city.
The union submitted questions to Gaba asking for details of how they are complying with the law. For months, emails went back and forth between the union and Gaba, with the company being evasive about exact details. Finally though, we have been to nail them down.
Gaba Instructor Christmas Party 2014
General Union Gaba Branch invites you to Super Jam Part Four - The Gaba Branch's third Christmas Party!
In the booth: Blocking sexual harassment
Instructors at Gaba in the past struggled to have clients who harassed them blocked. The GU brought this directly to the company last year, and Gaba changed the rules. No one should be harassed at work. Here it is in graphic form:
Disaster preparations at Gaba Corporation
Instructors who were at Gaba in 2011 will remember the trains stopping and the streets being clogged with cars. Some will also remember walking huge distances to get home in the middle of the night. The Tokyo government wants to prevent a repeat of this in the event of any future disaster.
On September 29th the union submitted a query to Gaba asking how they were complying with the Tokyo Metropolitan Govermment ordinance from April 2013 stating that companies should keep supplies in their offices in case of people being stranded in a disaster.
Sexual Harassment in Eikaiwa
The Japan Times has published another article dealing with incidents of sexual harassment in the English teaching industry. It is very sad that this kind of article is necessary, but it is. Sexual harassment in the workplace should not be accepted, and if it occurs it should be dealt with by employers. Unfortunately this is often not the case, particularly when the person doing the harassment is a client, as has happened at Gaba Corporation.
A Christmas for Everyone
Christmas is for everyone. It may seem a little early to write about Christmas now, but at this time in 2013 Gaba Corporation were planning last year’s company Christmas party. Unfortunately instructors were not invited, which the union officially protested in negotiations with the company. Consequently, in June the union asked the company to invite instructors this time.
Shimbashi LS Evacuation Poster Updated
At negotiations last week the General Union Gaba Branch asked the company a number of questions about emergency preparations, and showed a photo of the evacuation procedure poster in Shimbashi Learning Studio, which has been on the wall lacking an evacuation point for over 12 months. The company followed up on this and as seen below, there is now an evacuation point displayed at Shimbashi LS. The company is going to follow up all other LSs and ensure that they all have emergency posters with evacuation locations.
Union asks Gaba to improve poor safety preparations
On March 11th, 2011 the fifth biggest earthquake ever recorded occurred east of Tohoku. Nearly 16,000 people died, over 2,600 are still missing and almost 130,000 buildings totally collapsed.
Instructors who were working that day know that Gaba Corporation was almost completely unprepared for this event, and the company's response was chaotic at best.
Sexual Harassment at Gaba Corporation in the news
Last week the Japan Times published an article dealing with the issue of sexual harassment at Gaba Corporation. It featured interviews with a number of Gaba instructor who gave their accounts of sexual harassment while working at Gaba. The stories were horrific, and something that no one should ever have to put up with.
Gaba fails to pay instructors for training
Privacy protection - You don't need to let Gaba staff photograph your ID with their own phone
We like to think that we're all pretty tech savy, security conscious and not easily led. That being said, I know how easy it can be to agree to something that makes you feel a little uneasy, just to avoid the hassle of kicking up a fuss.
Gaba Branch Spring Party 2014 - Spring Smash!
On Sunday April 13th the Gaba branch had its fifth social event in the last 18 months. We held our first Christmas party at The Pink Cow in Roppongi in December 2012, then Hanami in Yoyogi Park in April 2013. We then relocated to What The Dickens in Ebisu, a great British pub and live space only a few minutes from Ebisu station.