#GUHappyMayDay: Let’s stand up for workers’ rights! 

Apr 15, 2024

As International Workers’ Day approaches, it’s a time to reflect on the tireless efforts of workers worldwide and the victories won through solidarity and collective action. In Japan, unions have been at the forefront of advocating for fair treatment, better pay, and job security.

At the International Learning Centre, our members faced a challenge: their employer attempted to circumvent their right to apply for an unlimited term contract by dismissing them just before reaching the necessary tenure – after we had already beaten the employer’s contract limit for other members. The union swiftly took action, filing a lawsuit to challenge this injustice in court. This stand underscores the vital role unions play in safeguarding workers’ rights against employers who seek loopholes to evade their obligations.

Meanwhile, at institutions like Doshisha and Osaka University, similar battles rage on for our members as employers attempt to exploit legal technicalities to avoid offering unlimited term contracts to their staff. These universities stand as emblematic examples of the ongoing struggle for fair labor practices in Japan’s academic sphere.

However, amidst these challenges, there are victories worth celebrating. At Berlitz and Kyoto International School, solidarity among GU members led to significant pay increases of 2.5% and 3%, respectively. These achievements highlight the power of collective bargaining and demonstrate that when workers stand together, they can secure tangible improvements in their working conditions and livelihoods.

As we commemorate International Workers’ Day, let us honor the resilience and determination of workers across Japan and around the world, renewing our commitment to solidarity, unity, and the ongoing fight for justice in the workplace. Together, we can build a future where all workers are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. Your presence matters, so join us for May Day events at Hibiya Park at 9:30, or Nakanoshima Park at 13:30 on May 1st to show and share your solidarity with workers across Japan and the world.

Let’s stand together and make our voices heard! Sign up HERE