Nichibei Branch History 1993~

Jan 1, 2008


– – 1994 May: ‘General Union Nichibei Eigo Gakuin Branch’ is officially declared to the company, demanding paid holidays. – 1994 November: Union signs collective agreement with Nichibei, guaranteeing paid holidays, and requiring Nichibei to get the union’s consent before changing working conditions. – 1995 March: Union wins 1 million yen settlement for an Australian teacher in the Hirakata school. Nichibei in breach of contract. – 1996 April: Union and Nichibei sign collective agreement; 3% pay rise for union members, and Nichibei agrees to provide material for group lessons. – 1997 August: Union expands to seven Nichibei schools. Teachers, staff, and managers; foreigners and Japanese, unite to improve conditions. Union wins paid holidays and overtime pay for all Nichibei employees. Company begins harassment of union members. – 1997 December: First one-day strike to protest unfair labour practices. – 1998 March: Union declares labour dispute against Nichibei, after company refuses all pay demands and continues harassment of union members. Strikes begin at Umeda, Hirakata, Tennoji and Namba schools. Nichibei uses scab teachers. Dispute escalates when company fires two striking union members. – 1998 May: Union files Unfair Labour Practices case (1) against Nichibei at Osaka Labour Relations Commission. Strikes and dispute activity (sound truck, leafletings, etc.) continue for the rest of the year. – 1998 October: Nichibei president Mr Tamotsu Kanehisa exposed at Osaka Labour Commission posing in his company’s advertising as a student, ‘Tamotsu Nakata, Ginko-man’. – 1999 January: Nichibei fires union branch chairman Paul Dorey a few hours after he goes on strike. Union prepares case with lawyer Mr. Masao Niwa and sues for reinstatement 3 weeks later at Osaka District Court. – 1999 June: Union wins civil court injunction for fired union branch chairman. Firing ruled invalid and Nichibei ordered to pay his living expenses until the end of the case. – 1999 September : Union files Unfair Labour Practices case (2) against Nichibei at Osaka Labour Relations Commission for dismissal of branch union chairman. – 2000 March: Union wins main court trial. Osaka District Court orders Nichibei to pay branch chairman’s full salary indefinitely (with full back-pay). Firing confirmed to be ‘invalid’, ‘abusive dismissal’. Nichibei appeals to Osaka High Court. – 2000 November: Union wins complete victory in Osaka High Court. Nichibei announces that they will not appeal to the Supreme Court. Branch chairman goes back to work after nearly two years away with full pay. Nichibei branch starts to rebuild, and talks start to settle the cases of the two other fired members. – 2001 March: Nichibei settles unfair labour practices case at Osaka Labour Commission before it reaches a judgement. Firings of other two union members withdrawn. 5 million yen paid to union and members as settlement. Nichibei apologises to union. – 2001 November: Union again submits pay rise demands, picking up again from 1998. Company refuses any pay rise. ‘We are in the red’. Union researches Nichibei’s finances. Tokyo Shoko Research says, ‘As a result of restructuring, profits have soared’. – 2002 April: After several collective bargaining sessions, Nichibei, still refusing a pay rise, announces new ‘Evaluation system’ with possible pay rises attached. Union sends a declaration of dispute and a strike notice. 3rd Shunto at Nichibei begins. Strikes start and go on all spring and summer. Nichibei finally offers 1.5% pay rise to those over 5 years service without pay rise. Union rejects this as completely inadequate: some members with no rise for 12 years. – 2003 February: Nichibei opens new Shinjuku School. – 2003 March: In negotiations, Nichibei refuses pay rise, and refuses to reveal evaluation results to union members in collective bargaining. Dispute declared. 4th Shunto begins; first strike 31 March. – 2003 April: Nichibei starts taking away full-time union members’ group lessons, as in 1998. Union members’ lessons given to newly hired part-timers (Nichibei’s costs shoot up as a result). – 2003 June: Collective Bargaining held. Company refuses to change its position. President Kanehisa , when asked about the company’s finances, says they are ‘Good and bad’. No further explanation was offered. Union consults lawyer Mr Niwa Masao over Nichibei’s Unfair Labour Practices and defamation (Nichibei had called striking teachers ‘irresponsible’ in a leaflet passed out to their own customers!) – 2003 July: The union attempts in good faith to settle the dispute by applying for mediation (‘Assen’) at the Osaka Labour Commission. Nichibei Eigo Gakuin turns it down. – 2003 October: Union holds collective bargaining in a last ditch effort to settle the labour dispute. Nichibei refuses to compromise on any of the issues. Vice-president Kuroda says ‘Sue us. We’re used to losing; it’s not so bad’. In these talks, Nichibei admitted that they are planning to open yet another new school in Tokyo, this time in Shibuya, in 2004. The money for this is to come from their savings. – 2006 July: 25th anniversary of Nichibei’s founding. No bonuses or events or commemorations of any kind. – 2006, September: Union files 5th Unfair Labour Practice Complaint against Nichibei for ‘Control and Interference’. – 2007 January: Nichibei opens new school in Ikebukuro.