Deal paves way for Diet to scrap legal cap on use of temporary workers


After failing twice, a state-sponsored bill to revise the worker dispatch law so companies can use temporary workers as long as they wish, looks set to pass the Diet now that an opposition party has agreed to put the controversial legislation to a vote, it was learned Saturday.

This is the government’s third attempt to revise the law, which puts a three-year limit on the use of dispatched workers except for those in 26 jobs requiring special skills, such as interpretation. If a company wants a particular worker to stay on longer than three years, it must formally hire that person as a regular employee.

The state-backed bill calls for scrapping the three-year limit on condition that employers hear the opinions of labor unions.

The opposition camp has been fighting the bill, arguing that the legal revision will keep dispatched workers from landing stable jobs.

The LDP and its junior coalition partner, Komeito, are expected to have the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Labor and Welfare vote on the legislation, listed by the Cabinet as a key bill, as soon as next week, to be followed by a full vote in the Lower House.

Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) is making final adjustments to accept a vote in committee in exchange for the ruling camp’s support on one of its own bills, which calls for ensuring equal pay for dispatched workers who perform the same jobs as full-time employees, senior officials of Ishin and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said.

The ruling bloc initially assumed the bill for amending the worker dispatch law would pass the Lower House in early June. But after the hacking of the public pension system came to light Monday, debates on the incident took priority over the bill, leaving the schedule for deliberations and voting in the air.

The bill for equal pay was submitted on May 26 by Ishin and other parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan, the leading opposition force.

The deal is a result of recent negotiations in which the LDP and Komeito agreed to jointly submit a similar bill on equal pay. As a result, Ishin changed its mind and decided to cooperate in putting the bill on revising the worker dispatch law to a vote in exchange.

Although Ishin plans to vote against the bill, it is expected to be enacted with majority support from the ruling camp.

Ishin’s decision is expected to disappoint the DPJ, which was cooperating with Ishin to block the bill’s passage, and possibly disrupt cooperation within the opposition camp.

The state-sponsored bill to revise the worker dispatch law was adopted at a Cabinet meeting in March.

  • Tomoko Endo

    The amend of the law deprived dispatched workers of oppotunities to be regular workers and must make efforts to be the same as regular workers to get the same salaies?
    A long battle for temporary workers to get regular jobs suffer them from more than 3 years?

  • Liars N. Fools

    So Japan will soon nail dispatch workers onto a cross of gold. Plutocracy will continue to win. Younger workers will continue to be shafted. Is this one of Abe Shinzo’s arrows? Yes. It is called labor flexibility which is a euphemism for exploitation of the politically weak.

  • Bruce Chatwin

    Komeito is backing this bill? Does this bill reflect Soka Gakkai values?

    • tomado

      Haven’t they always supported the LDP’s neoliberal, pronuclear, nationalist policies? Good catch Bruce.

    • GIJ

      If accumulating power for the sake of accumulating power is one of Soka Gakkai’s values, then I think this bill accurately reflects the values of that organization. The Komeito first experienced power in an LDP-led ruling government back in 1999, and it’s clear that its members liked it.

      Sorry state of affairs for Soka Gakkai. Is Ikeda Daisaku even alive? Does anybody even know? How can anybody really trust an organization where a cult of personality redolent of the Kim Dynasty in North Korea surrounds the leader? Why all the secrecy? Because there’s something to hide.

  • Ron Lane

    “Irregular” workers don’t earn enough to leave their parents’ homes, let alone get married and raise families — which will only exacerbate the problems of a declining birthrate and a declining population. Not to mention that these same irregular workers do not have sufficient earnings and purchasing power to contribute to the strengthening of the economy — and will not have sufficient savings to live on when they retire.

    Yet another victory for business over the long-term well-being of the nation. The current Abe government, like all previous ones, has proven itself to be the lacky of big business. There will be, however, a price to pay for this shortsightedness. But in fact, we’ve already begun paying it.

    • zer0_0zor0

      Hear here!
      What nation?
      This is the Age of Globalized Social Darwinism.