• Kyodo

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The Shizuoka District Court ordered Suzuki Motor Corp. on Monday to pay a total of 35 million yen in compensation to six of seven former and current employees who claimed they were underpaid because they were members of the Japanese Communist Party.

The plaintiffs had demanded 156 million yen in compensation and lost wages from the auto and motorcycle manufacturer based in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

“Suzuki detested activities of the plaintiffs as JCP members and gave evaluations for undervalued wages,” the court ruling said.

On the seventh employee, there was no evidence of discrimination, the court said.

The ruling was read by Judge Tadashi Sakai on behalf of presiding Judge Norio Chigawara, who retired before the ruling was announced.

The ruling said Suzuki gave the wage evaluations to the six plaintiffs for distributing the party’s leaflets in front of the company’s main gate, as well as for making speeches.

A Suzuki official said the company will take “prudent action” after examining the ruling.

The case was heard at the Hamamatsu branch of the Shizuoka District Court.

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