Language Teachers in Japan – Don’t Scab for ECC!

May 5, 2022

If you have been following recent news about ECC, you are already aware that unionized workers – mostly instructors – are on a strike. 

The ongoing labor dispute centers around years of stagnant wages and an unfair make-up workday policy. Union members are determined to strike for as long as necessary for ECC to come back to the negotiating table with something worthwhile.

Support from many professionals in the language teaching industry in Japan, as well as friends, family, and representatives from other Japanese unions assure us that our cause is just, and our morale is high!


As ECC struggles to cope with the consequences of upsetting its own workers for years, we have received reports that ECC is offering special one-off contracts to workers to serve as cover teachers on strike days – i.e. ECC is hiring scabs. We want to encourage our fellow workers not to scab as scabbing does nothing but prolong the dispute.

Not only is scabbing upsetting to union workers putting their finances on the line for better working conditions; and not only does scabbing help companies attempting to grind workers and deplete their hope for better conditions; scabbing also has reverberating effects that scabbing workers themselves will eventually feel.

In many industries, the victories of unionized workers are shared by workers at all companies, union or non-union. Sometimes, those victories create important precedents! For example, if ECC’s own make-up work policy is defeated, then your employer will have to think twice before instituting its own copy of that policy.

The reverse is also true. Unions’ defeats are defeats for all workers. Absent a strong union presence, companies are allowed to race to the bottom in terms of worker pay and working conditions. Unfortunately, we can perceive this happening with for-profit ALT providers such as Interac and Border Link.

Make no mistake, scabbing against your fellow workers will have negative effects that follow you in your day job.

Instead, support striking workers by refusing to work for ECC while it mistreats its own employees!

If you’re a current ECC Gaigo employee and not on strike, we have no problems with you covering classes IF YOU ARE ORDERED TO DO SO. We are asking that you do not take special assignments to work at ECC on our strike days.