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James Mccrostie

James McCrostie is a full-time university lecturer and part-time writer. He writes mainly about labor issues related to the English-teaching industry.

For James Mccrostie's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Berlitz union wins raise, bonus in suit settlement

| Jan 1, 2013

Berlitz union wins raise, bonus in suit settlement

The four-year legal battle between management and teachers at Berlitz Japan was declared over Thursday as both sides signed an agreement to end the company’s lawsuit against union officials. Claiming an 11-month strike by unionized teachers to be illegal, Berlitz Japan had sued five ...

| Feb 28, 2012

Threatened Goldman Japan workers unionize

The past year has been anything but business as usual for the financial industry. Faced with a frosty economic climate, financial service companies have been busy chopping dead wood. Last year, 200,000 financial service jobs ended up on the cutting block worldwide. In Japan, ...

Foreign students back but numbers look likely to fall

| Jul 12, 2011

Foreign students back but numbers look likely to fall

They’re back. Worries that foreign students would abandon Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and accompanying fiasco at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have proven to be largely unfounded. According to Ministry of Justice figures, 70,170 foreign students left Japan between ...

Tomb tourism Saitama style

Dec 12, 2010

Tomb tourism Saitama style

Crawling in and out of graves isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. For those willing to give it a try, though, Yoshimi Hyakuana in Saitama Prefecture makes for an interesting day trip out of Tokyo. Literally meaning, “100 holes of Yoshimi,” the Yoshimi ...

Gaba teachers challenge 'contractor' status

| Oct 19, 2010

Gaba teachers challenge 'contractor' status

Long accustomed to being ignored, being forgotten proved too much to take for unionized teachers at Gaba language school. On Oct. 4, the General Union registered an official complaint and request for an investigation with the Ministry of Finance’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission ...

| Jul 27, 2010

Talks drag on, teachers fired in Berlitz case

After 20 months of legal wrangling, neither side has managed to snag a win in Berlitz Japan’s ¥110 million lawsuit against five teachers and their union, Begunto. On the recommendation of the case’s lead judge, the company and union have been in court-mediated reconciliation ...

TOEIC: Where does the money go?

| Aug 18, 2009

TOEIC: Where does the money go?

In a country of test-takers, the Test of English for International Communication has become one of Japan’s most recognized exams. In 2008, people in Japan paid ¥4,040 — or slightly less if their company or school paid a ¥100,000 membership fee — to take ...

TOEIC no turkey at 30

| Aug 11, 2009

TOEIC no turkey at 30

The Test of English for International Communication turns 30 this year. In three decades it has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the best-known tests in Japan. In December 1979, 3,000 people sat the first TOEIC. In 2008, people in Japan took ...

Berlitz blitz against union bogs down

| Apr 28, 2009

Berlitz blitz against union bogs down

After the second court hearing on April 20 in Berlitz Japan’s lawsuit against unionized teachers, the legal fight seems bogged down in a form of trench warfare. In December, after a year of strike action by over 100 teachers, the company filed a lawsuit ...