While we understand that there is also a devious element to his plan, to undermine the job security of those who are regular or SEIKI (full-time, unlimited term contract workers with yearly bonuses and retirement allowances), we believe that the union should take advantage of these changes to win improvements for our members.
Our history gives us no illusions in the law and we know that the law, left unenforced and ignored by companies and the Labour Ministry, will do little to benefit workers lives. Our experience from dealing with the Labour Standards Law, health and pension laws, etc., tells us that instead of lamenting the government inaction over enforcement, we need to use these laws as part as an active, organised campaign in order to win benefits from employers.
Union officials from the General Union Executive Committee and branch leaders met on 9 July to start planning how we will deal with the changes to the laws. Our first step is researching how these laws will impact on our workplaces and leaders will start talking with members about the situation in each workplace.
The main part of all the changes is to improve the employment and income security of HISEIKI and put them more on par with the working conditions of regular workers, so we have named our campaign “Let’s PARiTY”.
The laws that will change/have changed are:
- Health and Pension Insurance: coverage extended to those working 20+ hours per week and pension eligibility is down from twenty-five to ten years.
- Labour Contract Law: granting those who have worked five consecutive years as of 2018 the right to get an unlimited term contract.
- Dispatch Law: removing the limit on how long dispatch work can be carried out but also mandating more rights for dispatched workers.
- Equal pay for equal work provisions: while not law yet, this law will mandate more parity between HISEIKI and SEIKI workers in regards to pay and benefits.
Keep your eyes open for updates and reports about the campaign and if we’re coming to a workplace near you.