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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:

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 ...