Isuzu grants a Christmas gift to 550 temps due for layoff

by Natsuko Fukue

Major truck manufacturer Isuzu Motors Ltd. announced Wednesday it won’t cancel the contracts for about 550 seasonal workers after all.

The company last month notified some 1,400 contract and temporary workers at two factories, in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Taihei, Tochigi Prefecture, that their contracts would end the day after Christmas.

However, after the government asked carmakers to try to keep the employment situation stable, Isuzu decided to honor the contracts as they currently stand, a company spokeswoman said.

Isuzu is the first company in the manufacturing sector to pull back from plans to cut jobs since the recession started.

However, some 820 workers dispatched to Isuzu by temp staff agencies are not included in the latest plan, unlike the seasonal contract workers who are employed directly by the firm, the spokeswoman said.

Although the economic situation remains severe, she said the company does not plan to cut any more jobs at the moment.

Due to the deepening economic downturn, major carmakers have announced more than 14,000 factory job cuts across Japan. Because many manufacturers provide housing for their temp workers, those laid off lose their housing at the same time.