Tag - labor-pains

 
 

LABOR PAINS

COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Aug 19, 2013
Union, business concerns put limits on freedom of speech
Hot on the heels of their romp to victory in the race for control of the House of Councilors, the Liberal Democratic Party is chomping at the bit to overhaul the Constitution, which has not been amended since it was signed into law in 1946. The ruling party proposes gutting Article 9, which forever bans war, and laying the legal groundwork for an official national military.
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Jul 15, 2013
Unwritten perks can trump work rules, contracts, even laws
At a certain company, workers take their lunch break every day from 12 to 1 p.m. But just 10 minutes before noon, a small contingent of workers get up and leave the room. A few minutes later the fragrance of miso soup wafts in from the kitchen. Employees take turns making the soup for the benefit of those employees who bring a bentō lunch box for their midday meal. When the clock strikes 12, those eating out get up and leave, while the lunch box bunch march off to the kitchen to enjoy their bentō and hot, freshly made soup.
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Jun 18, 2013
Why workers can no longer wear their demands on their sleeves
Dear reader, where are you from? To what era do you belong? I was born in 1971 in Japan and grew up here, too, but I've never — in all my years visiting hotels, restaurants, shops or government offices — seen workers wearing vests, armbands, badges, ribbons or bandanas with political messages. I've never seen a waiter with an armband reading "We demand wage hikes."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
May 21, 2013
Precedent backs (nearly) equal pay for equal work
In 2012, Japan had 51.73 million workers, of which 33.3 million were regular employees, or seishain, according to the latest survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Contingent, or nonpermanent, workers (including part-timers, haken dispatch and shokutaku semiregular employees) numbered 18.43 million, over 35.5 percent of the workforce.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LABOR PAINS
Apr 16, 2013
Employers' 'box them in, drive them out' tactics fail legal test
Surely few employees would jump out of bed every morning, itching to start work at the 'Department for Driving Them Out'? But what is an oidashi-beya? And what scary entities are to be driven out?
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LABOR PAINS
Mar 19, 2013
Labor law reform raises rather than relieves workers' worries
A new specter hangs over Japan: the specter of insecure employment. The source of this insecurity is the August 2012 reform of the Labor Contract Act related to fixed-term employment.
Japan Times
LIFE / LABOR PAINS
Feb 19, 2013
Teachers are workers, not martyrs: the severance scandal that isn't
'Teachers quitting before graduation?!' the headlines screamed as we headed into the new year.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LABOR PAINS
Jan 22, 2013
AKB48: Unionize and take back your lost love lives
They started performing on stages in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district, and today their ubiquity is unrivaled. The current flavors of the month pepper the TV schedules and covers of weekly magazines all year round. In Tokyo, you can't swing a carrot without hitting a giant poster of one or a bunch of the all-grinning, all-dancing "Vegetable Sisters." AKB48 are, hands down, the busiest and most successful girl group in Japan.
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Dec 18, 2012
When is an hour at work not a work hour?
It was 1988, in an ad for Regain energy drink. Actor Saburo Tokito, wearing a suit and carrying an attache case, asked a question that would go down in TV history: "Can I work 24 hours straight?"
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Nov 20, 2012
Disciplinary measures must pass the 'objective, rational' test
"Discipline" (chōkai) — a miserable word if there ever was one. Being scolded as a child is part of growing up, but for us adults, being disciplined can be a particularly humiliating experience. But how much more humiliated would we feel if the grounds for the discipline were arbitrary, unfair or out of proportion? Do employers even have the legal right to discipline their employees? If so, are there any restraints, or can they discipline at will?
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Oct 16, 2012
Labor law protects expectant and new mothers — to a point
I had a labor consultation with a woman who said: "The other day I told my company I was pregnant. My boss asked me to quit because the firm can't afford to give me time off. One of my coworkers once resigned before giving birth but I want to stay on. Do I have to quit now that I am pregnant?"
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Sep 18, 2012
Work-rules verdict jars with laws aimed at leveling playing field for employees
We live our lives bound by rules. As a student, my teachers scolded me to comply with school regulations, which were Draconian by modern standards: "Skirt hems must reach down to within 5 cm above the knees," "Boys must shave their heads" and other meaninglessly strict school regulations were the rule rather than the exception.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Aug 21, 2012
Tepco liable for contract workers' safety in Fukushima
'Usually I spend New Year's Eve eating New Year's soba and go with my whole family to listen to the watch-night bell. But this year, I will spend Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 working. I will see the first sunrise of the year looking out over the sea driving along the highway toward the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. I will lean toward the sea and put my hands together in prayer for the 10 classmates I lost to the tsunami. This will have to serve as my hatsumode." (Fukushima worker's diary, Dec. 31, 2011, Tokyo Shimbun.)
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Jul 17, 2012
Courts back workers' rock-solid right to strike
"Sensei, Japan is such a safe country because there are no strikes. Right?" A student at the university where I teach blindsided me with this remark the other day.
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Jun 19, 2012
In 'right-to-work' Japan, employees should also have the right to rest
According to the tagline for the 1991 film "City Slickers," "All you need in life is love, courage and paid holidays." Indeed, some of us may find meaning to our lives through single-minded devotion to our jobs, but without leisure time our bodies and minds would inevitably putter out. Taken to extremes, we may even start to wonder what we are living for.
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
May 15, 2012
Supreme Court knocks down discipline of mentally ill employee
Can a company discipline an employee for taking absence without leave if that worker could be suffering from mental illness? Just a few weeks ago, on April 27, the Supreme Court ruled against Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd. in a case that posed precisely this question. The verdict illustrates the courts' thinking on a very modern ill of Japanese labor.
COMMUNITY / Issues / LABOR PAINS
Apr 24, 2012
No legal cure-all for fixed-term job insecurity
We like to think that work is about more than just making money, but the reality is that most of us have to work to earn our daily bread. A steady job is crucial for our long-term well-being.
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LABOR PAINS
Mar 27, 2012
A promise of employment is binding, Supreme Court ruled in late 1970s case
The coming of spring brings with it the sight of young women and men clad in black or navy suits, all carrying the same type of bag and sporting the most austere, no-nonsense hairdo and makeup, scurrying down the streets of metropolises around Japan. From a distance you'd be forgiven for thinking these youths are wearing uniforms and that all individuality had been banned by decree. Where are they all heading, and for what?
COMMUNITY / How-tos / LABOR PAINS
Feb 28, 2012
Oversleeping radio anchor set tough precedent for firing staff
A radio news anchor oversleeps a live broadcast twice, forcing the radio station to cancel the broadcast. Should he be fired?
JAPAN / LABOR PAINS
Feb 13, 2004
Medical sector faces hard choice amid aging society
As Japan gropes for solutions to the imminent labor shortage amid the rapidly graying population, the failure of a private-sector project to import nurses is a bitter reminder of the hurdles involved in attracting and keeping foreign professionals here.

Longform

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