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A group of managerial-level workers who have lost their jobs and salaried people in high-level positions who fear for their jobs has launched a “union for unemployed people” under the slogan of “Create a job by yourself if you don’t have one.”

Some 25 people have become founding members of the new union, the Tokyo Managerial Positions Union (Tokyo Kanrishoku Kumiai), established Sunday in Tokyo.

The inauguration of the new organization comes in response to national unemployment figures, which remain high despite a slight improvement in the rate for September, the first such improvement in three months.

The union for unemployed workers is aimed at introducing members to one another and encouraging them to set up businesses and create jobs on their own.

One project presently being promoted by the union is the opening of a bar in Tokyo, members of the union said. It also is considering establishing a transportation company, a metal processing firm and a personal computer technical service firm, they said.

Union members are largely people who have lost their jobs either because their companies went bankrupt or were forced into restructuring measures, or those who felt their present positions were no longer secure. Many of those laid off have since failed to find new employment, even though they are university graduates.

The union plans to call on companies to employ members of the new union, and the organization is also promoting cooperation with trade unions.

Kiyotsugu Shidara, secretary general of the Tokyo Managerial Positions Union and one of its founders, said he would like to make it a mutual-help organization by creating a network of unemployed people.

The admission fee for the union is 3,000 yen and the monthly membership fee is 2,000 yen. For more details, contact the union at (03) 5371-5170.

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