NUGW Tokyo, our sister union, are mounting more strikes and protests over forced retirement at the British Council Iidabashi workplace in Tokyo. Strikes were held May 20th and 27th and a campaign of leafleting and protesting has been spreading the word of forced retirement at the British Council in Tokyo.
The British Council is very proud of its “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion” (EDI) policy, which is plastered all over its website, and is supposed to be globally binding. And yet, the British Council is claiming that because Japanese law allows companies to force staff out because of their age, they are free to continue to do this until they get round to changing their policy in this country of forcing all staff out at 65.
It’s now 11 years since NUGW Tokyo started calling on the British Council to end this blatant discrimination, but the British Council say they need more time to think about it. When pressed in collective bargaining, they have repeatedly refused to make any commitment to change, or to give a clear time frame.
Annie, NUGW Tokyo Branch Chair and longtime union activist, turns 65 in May and has taken the lead on denouncing ageism at the British Council Japan office for 11 years. The British Council has dug in its heels and refused to make a collective agreement that would allow her to continue her employment at the British Council.
Supporters from other Nambu branches, the General Union and the University Teachers’ Union have added their voices in a show of solidarity, and a petition is online. You can also follow their action on Twitter @BcTokyoNambu