Headquartered in Fukuoka, Seiha English Academy, which opened its first office in April of 1985, is a private English conversation school run by Seiha Network Co., Ltd. According to Wikipedia, Seiha “has 462 locations all around Japan”, “approximately 1,000 teachers” and has “recently passed the 50,000 student mark”, making Seiha “the largest children’s English School in Japan”.
As of September, 2016, it holds a 2/5 star rating on www.glassdoor.com.
As far as union activity goes, back in 2010, the Fukuoka General Union (the General Union’s sister union) were successful in bringing an end to some of Seiha’s work place violations (in accordance with Japanese labour law), as well as helping to achieve pay rises for most of the foreign teachers working there at that time. However, there were various other illegalities that Seiha refused to rectify, even after the Labour Standards office itself made Seiha aware that what it was doing was illegal (“Seiha Forced To Delete Illegal Clauses“).
While the General Union receives various e-mails and messages about Seiha on a regular basis, we have recently been speaking to non-member who has made us aware that she will be “suing Seiha for dismissal allowance” after a lengthy battle with the company following her dismissal via non-renewal after several years of working for the company, in addition to keeping a blog about how the legal battle goes.
For those who are curious about the events which have resulted in this legal battle, the blog in question can be found here: http://suingseiha.livejournal.com/747.html
(Please note that the General Union does not explicitly endorse, nor is responsible for, any content written on the aforementioned blog.)
It should be noted that the author of the blog is incorrect in regards to the set schedules being illegal, and that we do not agree with everything that is written; however, we equally do not agree with the small claims court ruling, and the General Union will be watching with interest to see how things play out.
In the meantime, this issue combined with various negative reviews and comments on the internet, overlaid upon the questions and inquires that are sent to the General Union directly, build a narrative that suggests that working for Seiha English Academy may not lead to a pleasant working experience.
On the other hand, there are assuredly a number of people who are quite happy to be working for Seiha, and – as with all things – the caveat of “Your Mileage May Vary” applies.
Be that as it may, there is no harm in making people consider exactly what they’re getting themselves into before they get themselves into it.
Caveat subscriptor, everyone.