Unfair Treatment at Epion Mabuchi

Nov 28, 2012

Graham J. first began working for Epion English Langauge School in 1998. After a short period back in Australia Graham was re-employed, and went on to become a became a seishain worker (full-time life employee) in 2005. From 1998 to 2010 Graham was a respected, capable and hard working teacher. He contributed to the development of the company’s current curriculum, the training of teachers, and the management of various events with great success. Things Suddenly Changed With a reshuffling of upper management in 2009, many of the senior foreign staff was pushed out of the company. Graham ended up as the last foreign staff member with seishain status left working at the company. In 2010 upper management decided that Graham was better suited to sit at a desk at head office. Duties included reading an English text book for 8 hours a day. This was an attempt to humiliate and embarrass Graham into a position that he too no longer wanted to work at the company. Graham was also given a poor evaluation. His salary was decreased by ¥10,000 per month based on his “poor performance”. Strange that a well respected teacher with Graham’s experience could suddenly go from being one of the best teachers at the company to being one of the worst. Obviously the evaluation had been doctored to make Graham look as bad as possible. At this time Graham had just been married, had just moved into a new apartment and had a baby on the way. Not a good time to be looking for a new job. Being behind a desk for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, reading the exact same book with a daily meeting on how bad a teacher he was can take a toll on your health and mental stability. They expected Graham to succumb to the pressure and quit. He didn’t. At first, Graham fought the injustice alone, but to no avail. He then turned to the General Union for help. It took 2 months, but with the help of the union, Graham was back teaching in the classroom. This did not go down well with upper management of the company. The fight did not stop there. Every half year Graham received poor evaluations in all areas of his work as a teacher. On the basis of those evaluations Graham’s salary has been on a slow decline ever since, with the last decrease being ¥14000. The union is working to restore Graham’s reputation and to increase his pay back to where it originally was before he was mistreated at the company. Worst Teacher? Upper management’s assertion that Graham is the worst teacher in the company is laughable. Especially considering they still have him train new teachers. The fight to restore what is rightfully Graham’s has gone to the point of mediation at the Osaka Labour Commission. We were sure to point out the inconsistency of the company’s argument. The commissioners appeared to find it as strange as the union does. What Next?The first round of mediation was held on November 13. We will be reporting more after the second session on December 4.