• Kyodo

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Ten members of a labor union comprising former employees and part-time workers at a Snow Brand Foods Co. factory in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, filed a suit Monday demanding the firm’s decision to fire them be nullified.

The plaintiffs were fired as of Sunday, according to the lawsuit, filed with the Saitama District Court. Snow Brand Foods is to be disbanded at the end of April. The firm, a subsidiary of Snow Brand Milk Products Co., saw its sales plummet after it was found to have mislabeled its meat products. Both firms are named in the suit.

The 28-member labor union, set up in 1992 after splintering from the firm’s main labor union, maintains that the sackings were authorized without proper consultations between labor and management.

As such, the firings are invalid, the plaintiffs said, demanding a court order for their positions to be protected and their salaries to continue to be paid.

82% looking for work

Some 170 of the 944 employees at Snow Brand Foods Co., which will disband at the end of April due to deteriorating sales in the wake of a mislabeling scam, have found new jobs, an official said Monday.

Most of the 170 have found work in companies related to the food industry, according to an official of the company’s team that is helping employees find new jobs.

Sales at Snow Brand Foods, a subsidiary of Snow Brand Milk Products Co., have declined sharply since the company’s deliberate mislabeling of beef products came to light in January.

The company had passed off imported beef as domestic beef in order to benefit from a government buyback scheme implemented after the outbreak of mad cow disease in Japan in September.

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