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Ricoh cancels transfer orders for 100 workers

JIJI

Ricoh Co. plans to cancel job transfer orders for some 100 employees who refused to apply for early retirement, sources said Saturday.

Some of the employees have filed lawsuits, asking a court to confirm that they have no obligation to agree to be transferred. Two have reached a court-mediated settlement with the company.

The major office equipment maker now plans to review the job assignments of the employees who were given the transfer orders.

Under its business restructuring plan in June 2011 featuring cuts 10,000 jobs, Ricoh solicited applications for voluntary retirement with a reduction target of some 1,600 jobs.

A total of 152 employees who refused to quit under the redundancy program were ordered to be transferred to a distribution subsidiary and other positions. Of them, seven sued the company, insisting that the transfer orders should be invalidated.

In November 2013, the Tokyo District Court ruled in favor of two of them, saying that the orders amount to an abuse of the company’s authority over personnel affairs and should be void. The company filed an appeal against the ruling but reached a settlement with the two employees at the Tokyo High Court on Friday.

Ricoh has decided to assign the two to sections where they can make use of their experience and ability, effective Aug. 1, the sources said. For other employees who were given the transfer orders, the company will take account of their preferences in deciding new assignments, a company official said.