Employment contracts have existed between the Mayor of Takatsuki City (as the employer) and each AET (as the employee) for many years. Therefore, a question such as “are AETs actually employees?” should not exist.
However, Takatsuki city has been vehemently arguing that these AETs – employees with employee contracts with an employer – are not, in fact, employees at all.
In the plenary session of the Takatsuki City Assembly, Mr.Kurahashi, the vice-Mayor at that time, said, “AETs are paid volunteers. The visa status of “international exchange staff” was applied for on their behalf.”
Even though no “international exchange staff” visa exists, this statement has not yet been withdrawn.
In a document (dated July 14, 2015) sent to the Osaka Prefectural Labor Relations Commission from the local government of Toowoomba (which has had a sister-city relationship with Takatsuki, and which has sent AETs to Japan for years) states, “Assistant English Teachers were directly employed by Takatsuki City.”
To reiterate: the city of Takatsuki claims that the AETs were “paid volunteers”, while its sister-city of Toowoomba states that AETs were “directly employed”. It is impossible to say that both of these conflicting viewpoints are true. Therefore, if one is a truth, one must be a lie.
Takatsuki government officials – especially those who have direct influence on this situation – who have failed to treat AETs in compliance with laws, have left them in “no-rights” status, retaliated against them by firing and blocking out of the graduation ceremony when AETs realized that they had not been treated in compliance with laws, and who treated those same AETs with contempt when they finally joined the GENERAL UNION and started to demand their legal rights, cannot be allowed to walk free from serious accusation.
Because the GENERAL UNION and those disenfranchised AETs will never give up, it is only a matter of time before the lies of the Takatsuki officials finally catch up with them.
Do you have any thoughts about the issues surrounding the treatment of the Takatsuki AETs?
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