As one might expect, the Labor Standards Office has the power to give many different levels of instruction to companies.
Sometimes, these are mere suggestions or recommendations; sometimes, it is “guidance”; sometimes, it is a direct order; sometimes, it is something much stronger…
The problem though, here, is that they often won’t tell the complainant (in this case, the union) what kind of stance the LSO has taken with the offending company.
The officer in this case, for example, was very vague in regards to what action had been taken against Rainbow International.
As a result, the union resorted to using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the order that was issued.
This took some time to obtain, but it was clear that the Labor Standards Office had issued a “zeseikankoku”, which the strongest kind of order.
In fact, it’s the the kind of order that gives the LSO power to actually arrest and prosecute the company president.
With this knowledge, we were able to speak more strongly with the LSO officer. We stated that we would take legal means to force the Labor Standards Office to prosecute the case, and that we were considering a picket of the LSO itself over their lack of action.
This kick up the butt must have worked because, unexpectedly, we found a deposit to the union’s bank account. It seems that the company finally relented and paid.
We don’t know what the LSO Officer said that lit a fire under the company, but it certainly worked!
Suffice to say, we will be sending this good news on to our member (who has now returned to his home country).