Our sister union, NUGW Nambu, have staff at the British Council Tokyo and they have started industrial action on forced retirement at 65. They are calling on the British Council Japan to abide by – British Council global EDI, or “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion” policy. Sound improbable? Well, that’s what union members at the British Council’s Tokyo branch think too.
The global policy itself actually looks pretty good on paper. Trouble is, the Japan office’s workplace rules are a different story, and all staff are forced to retire at 65, simply because of their age. Our sister union has continually challenged this discriminatory policy since 2012, and yet despite being a clear breach of policy, and the British Council even admitting in collective bargaining five years ago that there is no justification for it, here they are. They’ve had warm words, talk of processes, of papers, of committees, reviews, but up to now, no firm commitment. They have been calling on them to sign a collective agreement to protect Annie, the branch chair, who has been fighting this since she was 53, and who turns 65 on May 31st, but they have repeatedly refused, insisting we have to wait for the wheels to grind, which may be too late to save Annie’s job.
They say enough is enough, and on 4th March they are staging a one-day strike at the British Council in Iidabashi. All members due to work that day are coming out, and they will be picketing throughout the day. Join us to help show the British Council that the word is getting out! Even a short time would be a huge boost for them.
Date and time: Saturday 4th March, 9.30am – 7.30pm
Place: British Council Japan office: 1-2 Kagurazaka, Iidabashi.
Nearest stations: Iidabashi subway Exit B3, JR Iidabashi West Exit