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- 20 Jul 2012|
Union launched at Peppy Kids ClubWhile Peppy Kids Club doesn’t have the national profile of some other players in the language industry, they have been on the union’s radar for quite a few years. They are an expanding chain with over 400 native English-speaking teachers and more than 1600 Japanese teachers. They have classrooms all across Japan and almost 100,000 students.
Over the years various questionable practices at the company have been reported to us. Unfortunately, the numerous teachers who contacted us in the past just wanted to move on rather than stay and help improve things. But things changed this year when the union was contacted by a number of people, both Japanese and foreign, who wanted things to improve and were prepared to get involved to make that happen.
Peppy’s classrooms are spread over the breadth of Japan, so the union acted as a link between people in different locations. We introduced everyone, and then got on with the task of preparing to launch the union. Months were spent collecting documents, analyzing problems, building databases, writing surveys, and translating everything.
Peppy is not all bad - many employees are very happy there, especially those new to Japan. To quote a teacher from PKC's Facebook page, “It's the easiest job I’ve ever had.” But judging from the number of Peppy staff contacting the union, this view is not shared by everyone at the company.
The fact remains; there are problems at the company for all staff but even more so for the 1600 Japanese teachers.
The union and its members have some questions we would like answered.
*Why won't the company make the registered work rules available as required by law?
*Why do some areas force teachers to pay for hotels up front?
*Why are there stories of some areas refusing to reimburse expenses when there are small kanji errors on receipts?
*Why is it that Japanese teachers are not enrolled in unemployment insurance?
We very much hope that the company has answers at our first collective bargaining session.
What can you do?
Ask anyone you know working at Peppy to contact us. Get involved if you work there. Be part of the solution.