• Queenstown, New Zealand


Regarding the Feb. 28 article “Berlitz loses suit over union teacher strikes“: Whilst I celebrate the existence of unions if their values are healthy, I fail to see this as a legitimate case for striking.

There is no entitlement to a pay rise — even after 16 years. The reality is that for the next 20-plus years, workers are not going to get pay rises in the West, as services increasingly are overpriced compared with those of developing countries that are liberalizing. The reason Asian labor is so cheap is that historically it was an extortion/collectivist political system. Yet, as in Japan and other Western nations, it retains the legacy of using the courts or political lobbying to extort concessions like minimum wages.

The union action is merely going to drive Berlitz clients online in search of services. The strike action was extortion if based solely on the pay claim. There is no entitlement to prosperity; it must be earned. If (the union) thinks it can do better, then maybe it should set up an English school, or join Berlitz’s competitors.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

andrew sheldon

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