8 August at Osaka District Court. 11 am. We want members to attend as our member reads his opening statement to the court in our suit against Jikei Group’s International Learning Centre. Often all the proceedings are in Japanese, but this will be done in English. We hope members spend the time to come out and support him.
Our member joined ILC in 2018 on one-year contracts, with the hope of eventually obtaining an unlimited term contract (UTC) after completing five years of dedicated service. The expectation of a 2022 contract renewal brought optimism for fulfilling this goal. However, ILC’s decision not to provide a 2023 contract shattered these hopes, depriving our member of the opportunity to pursue a UTC, a right protected by the Labour Contract Law. This unfortunate situation exemplifies the challenges faced by many contract workers, and it underscores the importance of addressing job security concerns within our labour community.
The General Union (GU) has taken legal action against Jikei Group’s International Learning Centre (ILC) at the Osaka District Court, seeking justice for one of our members who faced unjust dismissal and contract renewal denial. We are urging the court to confirm the member’s continued employment and ensure back wages are paid, but this case also highlights the systemic challenges contract workers encounter in their struggle for job security.
ILC’s actions during the 2022 contract renewal process lacked transparency. Despite earlier assurances in collective bargaining with the union that no changes would be made to working conditions, the sudden inclusion of a non-renewable clause in the contract revealed the company’s deceitful nature, effectively preventing our member from pursuing a UTC.
Initially, the union lodged a complaint with the Osaka Labour Commission, citing unfair labour practices under the Trade Union Law. Nevertheless, we chose to pursue justice through the civil court system, believing it better equipped to address the underlying issues and secure a fair outcome for our member.
This lawsuit exposes the recurring problem faced by contract workers across Japan, with employers imposing caps on contract renewals to deny workers the opportunity to obtain a UTC. Such practices contradict the spirit of labour contract law amendments aimed at enhancing employment security for contracted workers.
The GU’s lawsuit against Jikei Group’s International Learning Centre signifies more than just an individual’s struggle; it underscores the fundamental rights that all contract workers deserve. By obstructing the path to unlimited term contracts, companies like ILC jeopardize the employment security of their workers. It is essential that organizations honor labour laws and prioritize fair treatment for all employees.
This legal action should serve as a wake-up call for companies to revaluate their practices and foster a more equitable working environment for all contracted workers.