Following are responses to last week’s Zeit Gist on the Nova Corp. conversation school chain (see search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20070925zg.html):
I am currently a Nova instructor but I am disgusted by the way Nova is misleading new recruits.
In the absence of communication from top management (apart from brief faxes) , official output is via Nova’s teachinjapan Web site. On their official “Blog/Chat” link there is proof that Nova is actively encouraging Americans to come to Japan and trust Nova. The following was posted on Sept. 25 after moderation (i.e. it has been sanctioned by Nova):
“Working with Nova makes coming to a new country easy — your apartment is organised and you have instant new friends in your coworkers, and everywhere you go. So . . . dont worry about leaving your country, you will have a ball and whats the worst that can happen? — you go home! easy fix! Anyway i hope you are feeling better about coming to Japan because it really is a beautiful place where anybody can feel at home! Good Luck!”
With talk of evictions, the first sentence is sickening. Working with Nova has not made my life easier in the last two weeks. I have a wife and child to support here and really feel betrayed.
Check the above by visiting www.teachinjapan.com and going to the “Blog/Chat” link. Scroll to “Video Tour Jusco Himeji Otsu” and read the comments posted there by Nova.
Jim Davies, Kobe
Open for business
The General Union has no special policy regarding Nova teachers joining our union at this time or in the future regardless of whether or not Nova falls into bankruptcy. We will accept all applications from Nova teachers and staff for membership in the regular manner.
I would also like to add that even though we will accept new members, teachers and staff have to understand that we will not be able to offer the level of support regarding, for example, unemployment insurance procedures, social and health insurance, visas and apartments that we have during past bankruptcies, simply because we cannot do so for many people all at once and continue to take care of our other non-Nova members.
However, we will offer whatever advice we can. In fact, we will still offer general advice to all Nova teachers and staff regardless of whether they join the union.
I hope Nova teachers and staff who are considering joining the union will take the above into consideration and still join the union. If everyone joined with an urgent problem expecting instant service, our union would not be here at this moment offering whatever help we have to offer.
Regardless of the exact level of support we will be able to offer each individual, we hope that Nova teachers who are planning on remaining in Japan will join our union and help us help everyone in our struggle to reform the language industry, especially so that these current problems are not relived at other workplaces.
Dennis Tesolat, General Secretary, General Union
The Community Page will take a break next week. Send comments on this issue and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org