If you’re not familiar with the General Union’s involvement with the Takatsuki debacle, it’s enough to know that the General Union decided to intervene when it became clear that the Takatsuki Board of Education was not agreeable to reason or sound judgement, and was attempting to circumvent labor law in an attempt to enact its own kind of retribution against the former AETs for daring to bite the hand that fed them.
Of course, in attempting to paint the AETs in a negative light (to justify their unfair dismissal), the Board of Education carefully omitted a number of illegalities that it had been engaging in which were ultimately the root cause of the situation to begin with.
The former Takatsuki AETs had attempted to plead with teachers and the Board of Education to allow them to continue teaching, which the Board of Education instead took as a threat.
The situation became newsworthy enough that a number of media outlets picked up on the story. Among them was MBS TV, which created the following video about the situation (translated transcript here):
It was a good video, but it had one or two omissions that we wrote about on Facebook on April 15th, 2015:
They talk about the problems with the apartments. What they failed to talk about is that we have written evidence that AETs would be fired for daring to move out of the housing (their right by law). They hint at the shenanigans with the owner being a former Board of Education employee.
They also highlight that, for the first time ever, AETs were banned from attending their students’ graduation ceremonies. In the end, only one out of seven was allowed to attend. They also highlight how she was ordered off premises immediately after the ceremony without the chance to really talk with her colleagues or students.
Much like the leviathans of myth, Justice is something of a lumbering beast. It is slow to move and meticulous in its actions. However, once it finally gets enough momentum, Justice has a habit of crashing through wrongdoing without even flinching.
We’re happy to report that, after over a year, justice finally caught up with the maltreatment that the Takatsuki AETs had to suffer back in March of 2015.
On October 18th, 2016, The Mainichi published the following story about the final outcome of that vindictive action (archived here for posterity, with full credit to the source):
LABOR PANEL RULES AGAINST BARRING OF FOREIGN TEACHERS FROM CEREMONIES
OSAKA (Kyodo) — A labor relations commission in Osaka has ruled that the barring of Australian teachers from attending graduation ceremonies at their elementary schools because of their union activities amounted to an unfair labor practice, the prefectural government body said Monday.
The Australians, who were teaching English at elementary schools in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, distributed flyers inside teachers’ offices and at stations in February 2015 calling for the Takatsuki municipal government not to abolish assistant English teachers.
The municipal office, citing the possibility that the teachers’ activities could make pupils’ guardians anxious and disrupt the ceremonies, did not allow the teachers to attend the events on March 19 that year, according to the commission.
The municipal office had “no reasonable reason” to bar the teachers from attending the ceremonies and barring them “constituted an act that discourages union activities,” the commission said in its decision dated Friday, ordering the office to issue a statement pledging not to repeat the offense.
At a city assembly meeting the day before the graduation ceremonies, a senior official of the Takatsuki board of education criticised the teachers for engaging in union activities.
Regarding this incident, the commission decided that such criticism also amounted to unfair labor practice.
It’s no great revelation to say that we hate injustice. We especially hate injustice when it also happens to related to union activity, too.
However, it would be fair to say that this injustice occurred transpired due to pure spite; a spite born of contempt for foreigners who would dare complain that their benefactor was treating them unfairly.
Instead of attempting to resolve the issue, the Board of Education instead decided to double-down on its scorn, ultimately resulting in a heavy-handed reaction that saw them burn the entire program down rather than accept that maybe, just maybe, the AETs had a right to be upset.
Thanks to the General Union’s actions, and the tenacity of the former Takatsuki AETs, it is now the Takatsuki Board of Education who is having a taste of their own medicine.
Score one more for justice – and we haven’t even finished.