It all started many years ago when they failed to enrol employees in the health and pension insurance.
After unionising, members finally won the right to be enrolled – but it left one member nine years short on his pension earnings.
The union approached Osaka Gaigo with a very reasonable price to settle the issue for the member as he retired.
Osaka Gaigo refused.
Despite many past court rulings showing employers responsible for this negligence, the employer decided to force us to go to court.
Where this terrible management really shows, though, is at wage negotiations.
In 2013 (and in the years since then), union members demanded pay increases and bonuses to offset their stagnant wages.
Osaka Gaigo has always answered they are unable to meet these demand due to their poor financial situation.
No one at the union wants to bankrupt Osaka Gaigo and lose ALL the jobs, so we asked them to prove this to us by allowing us to see their financial statements.
We even agreed that only a select number of members would view the documents under a strict non-disclosure agreement, so – although we could confirm it for ourselves, and adjust negotiations accordingly – we would not disclose the employer’s poor financial situation to the general public.
Did they agree?
Collective bargaining requires good faith – if you make a bold claim about why you can’t meet demands, you have to back it up with facts and evidence.
Without this level of trust, collective bargaining could just become a sea of lies.
In order to make our point, we sued Gaigo at the Osaka Prefectural Labor Commission.
The Labor Commission ruled in our favour.
Osaka Gaigo were ordered to issue an apology to the union, and provide us with the financial statements that we had requested to see (to, you know, prove that the poverty that Osaka Gaigo was claiming was actually true).
End of story, right?
Well, not quite…
With money to burn, Osaka Gaigo decided to sue the Osaka Labor Commission.
Yes, Osaka Gaigo became “that guy” who asks to bum a few dollars from you for lunch because he doesn’t have any money, only to later brag on Facebook about how they’ve just dropped $2000 on a new PS4 pre-order bundle.
The case is now ongoing.
We made demands again for bonuses and pay increases.
Despite everything, Osaka Gaigo came back with the same story as usual: “No money!”
So, we asked for a simple promise: “if you don’t have money, we ask that you accept whatever decision is made by the district Court and STOP APPEALING and wasting the money that you say you don’t have.”
“We cannot promise that without knowing the decision.”
Suffice to say, it looks like Osaka Gaigo is getting ready to burn more money that it claims it doesn’t have.
The reality is this:
Osaka Gaigo is part of Bunsai Gakuen Educational Corp., and also has a rather new school in Tokyo.
By examining the wages from different sources in Tokyo, it appears that while the Tokyo school is doing well, Osaka Gaigo isn’t.
We cannot deny the fact that Osaka Gaigo has lost many students over the years.
However, on the other hand, they haven’t replaced any of their full-time faculty for years – and they haven’t hired any full-time foreign teachers for years, either.
They instead rely on a massive pool of part-timer employees to stay afloat.
They have also sold two buildings, making their facilities much smaller to run.
Therefore, we need to examine two sets of evidence to determine if the school is “doing well” or not.
One: how has the decline in enrolment at Gaigo been offset by the massive cuts in their staff and facilities cost as well as any possible profits from the sales of the building?
Two: Osaka Gaigo is a branch of a larger company, and failing to take that into account is short sighted unless the ultimate goal is to close Osaka Gaigo. If it isn’t doing well, and they want to see Osaka Gaigo grow, they will need to use funds in order to protect and improve the livelihood of staff. Not doing this is fundamentally unfair.
What do we know about Bunsai Gakuen’s performance as a company as a whole? Not much.
We know from internet-based sources that the Tokyo school’s full-time salary includes four months of bonus (our current full-time member doesn’t even receive half of one month’s bonus in Osaka!); and, according to an employment ad for the Tokyo school, the employer shows the salary after ten years at being around 7.5 million yen.
For most employers, we can use data from the Teikoku Data Bank.
However, in this case, no profit statement for Bunsai Gakuen has been listed in the the past two years – just a sales figure of 2,850,000,000 yen ($25,963,500.
We hope they didn’t burn those profits on frivolous pursuits!
Let’s all demand transparency from our employers.
If they want to plead poverty, open up the books and show us.
Most of all, though, don’t waste money that you say you don’t have on foolish activities.