So, why the delay?
Again, who knows? In practice, there is a hearing every 4 to 6 weeks, with a usual maximum length of 2 hours. Sometimes, though, these can be as short as five minutes.
If you were cynical, you might believe the system was designed to stop people seeking justice.
Some people may think this a problem specific to Japan; but the reality is that even in our “home countries” there are other issues that make for a lengthy period from start to finish of a case.
You can read more about the background of the case here; but, in a nutshell, we are supporting our retired member as he sues Osaka Gaigo over losses for the company’s failure to obey the law and enroll him in Shakai Hoken (health and pension insurance).
This has directly affected the pension he now receives.
At the latest hearing, documents and evidence were exchanged from both sides (yet again).
However, this time, one thing quickly became clear: the company has no physical evidence to explain away their failure to obey the law and enroll our union member in the past.
In contrast, the union was able to submit a written statement from the manager who actually interviewed our member more than 20 years ago.
In the affidavit, the manager clearly stated that pension had never been discussed with the member all those years ago – neither at the interview nor even in the ensuing years after.
The reason? “Only Japanese staff received Shakai Hoken”.
It is clear that the union has the upper hand in the case, with both evidence and the law on our side.
This case is just the tip of the iceberg, and many other teachers were affected by this.
However, only time will tell if justice is fully served and Osaka Gaigo are made to pay for their illegalities.
Strength In Unity