(1.) 7 days for employee’s marriage (2.) 3 days when employee’s wife gives birth ( 3.) 3 days in case of death of grandparent, spouse’s parent or brother/sister (4.) 7 days in case of death of parent, spouse, or child (5.) 8 weeks before and after birth when female employee gives birth (6.) When the company judges necessary in other cases. These ‘Special Holidays’ are normal in Japanese companies, but without consulting the union, Nichibei abolished them and when the union challenged this scandalous attack on our working conditions, President Kanehisa explained his reason for getting rid of them: ‘There was almost no one using the special holiday system, so we judged there was no need for their existence’ (letter of 1 December 2005). Well, no one expects these holidays to be used very often. THAT’S WHY THEY’RE CALLED SPECIAL HOLIDAYS! And how on earth can people use special holidays when you don’t tell them anything about them and hide them away (in Japanese only) in your working regulations? Another reminder – if any were needed – that employees at Nichibei cannot expect the management to care about them and look after their interests. The union is not giving up on this, and continues to demand the restitution of these holidays.