In response to an article on the union’s website about this, GABA has sued the union for libel, demanding 58,000,000yen in damages and legal costs. The General Union believes that our activities are protected under article 7, paragraphs 1,2,3 of the Trade Union Law, and that by suing the union, GABA is interfering in trade union activity. On May 16th, the union lodged a third Unfair Labor Practice suit (不当労働行為救済申立) as follows: Labor Relations Commission The union is asking for the assistance of the Osaka Labour Relations Commission over the following points: 1) Defendant, GABA Corporation, must not interfere and/or hinder the publicity activity of the applicant by demanding deletion of the article on GABA compliance on the applicant’s website and demanding an apology over it. 2) Defendant, GABA Corporation, must not intimidate union members by putting pressure on the applicant, claiming outrageous amounst of groundless compensation for damages against the applicant over the union news on their website. 3) Defendant, GABA Corporation, must pay 58,200,000 yen to the applicant for interfering with the applicant’s lawful rights and basic activity, thus interfering with the organisational activities, by actions described in items 1 and 2 above. 4) Defendant, Daiwa Corporate Investment Co.,Ltd., must apologize for refusing demands for collective bargaining from applicant to discuss rectification of GABA’s illegality for no good reasons while having an overwhelming management right over GABA, defendant, and accept the demand for collective bargaining in good faith. 5) Defendants, GABA Corporation and Daiwa Corporate Investment Co.,Ltd., must display an apology, written in print on white wood boards of the size of 1m high and 2m across in black ink, at prominent places at the main entrances of all the workplaces of the companies, for 4 weeks, within one week of the date of receipt of this order. The General Union stands by its original claims and is fighting GABA’s suit in Tokyo District Court. Hearings began on January 28th and the case is on-going. We would like to make it clear that the General Union will not be bullied, we will not knuckle under. The union and our members will not stop until GABA obeys its obligations, and provides worker benefits like all the major language schools.
Background • As owner of GABA Corporation, Daiwa Kigyou Toushi Co Ltd has been named in the unfair labour practice case. • General Union began organizing GABA instructors in 2007 after numerous complaints from instructors that they were not receiving benefits such as paid holidays, unemployment insurance, etc like other language school teachers receive. • General Union believes that by giving orders to instructors, including (but not limited to) what to wear, how to teach, and where to teach, that instructors are under the control of GABA and as such are not independent contractors (as GABA asserts) but are employees and are entitled to employee benefits as guaranteed under Labor Standards Law.