Executive Officers

Nathan H. (Branch Chair)

I joined the Union to pay my dues, meaning that the Union got me shakai hoken, and it was time to pay the Union back for what it got me. I started to learn that a lot of the things I may have taken for granted, like paid holidays, social insurance, and pay increases were a direct result of Union work. I joined and didn't just sit back. I wanted to be an active part to help others.

I wanted to listen and learn, and through negotiations, bargaining, and strikes, I see that it is possible to make a difference by standing together as a workforce. I try to know as much as I can about every member of our branch, and I truly care about them all; their difficulties, their health, and their families. I feel honored to represent them and will do so to the best of my abilities.

 

Caroline D. (Kinki)

Born in Scotland, I started working with ECC 2 years ago. I come from a strong union family, and I believe in the importance of unions in building a cohesive workforce. I believe in the power of the union to not only protect its members, but to also help communicate effectively with the company for the benefit of all.

 

 

Chris P. (Kinki)

I’m from Britain. Joined ECC in 1991. Joined the union in 2014. Have taught all kinds of classes, especially Senka, worked in the textbook writing department, and was Senka coordinator for 17 years.


In 2017 the company suddenly dissolved the Senka coordinator position, leaving me with a significant salary cut. The union stepped in, and with the support of all our members, we were able to resolve the issue. Without the union we have no countering voice. With the union we can stand up for ourselves and fight for some fairness, security, and parity. That’s why I’m a member.

 

Fred H. (Chubu)

Born in raised in California, I came to Japan to work with ECC in 2016 and joined the General Union shortly thereafter. I joined ECC primarily because its working conditions and other benefits outshine those of its competitors; and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a lot of what made it a competitive company to apply for a job with was due to the efforts of the General Union.

In addition, I discovered that some of the most passionate and helpful instructors in the company were proud union members. Because of all that, I reject the old line that unions hurt the success and profitability of companies - unions are one of the only checks that guarantee a company retains its dignity and dedication to quality service and motivated workers.

 

Guillermo B. (Chubu)

Born in El Salvador, I grew up in San Francisco. Japan has been my home for 17 years, and that's how long I've been teaching at ECC. When I saw my coworkers on strike I decided to join the ECC branch of the General Union. Let's help the union grow in strength to fight for our rights.

 

 

 James S. (Chubu)

As a long-time employee of ECC, I have seen firsthand the positive impact that the Union has made. I have seen us function not just as a focused group for negotiating with the company, but also a personal support group and information center for our members as they deal with life in a different culture. The value of that kind of security can't be underestimated.

 

 

 Jeremy P. (Kinki)

I've had jobs in several industries and the difference between industries with a strong union or a weak one is huge.

I joined the General Union because a strong union is the only way to guarantee fair working conditions and treatment for employees.

 

Michell E. (Kinki)
Hello from Kobe! Originally from Seattle, WA, I have been teaching with ECC since 2015.

I joined the union because I come from a union family (IBEW #191), and I strongly support workers’ rights. We deserve a safe, fair, professional working environment. I’ve seen the union achieve positive results, and I joined to support the union in that ongoing fight. When we unite, we can work towards productive change.

Joining the union is great in terms of professional and personal development - from discussing teaching ideas to sharing information and resources. I’m always happy to chat about the union and teaching ideas in general. When I’m not teaching, I’m hiking around and exploring Japan.

 

 Noah B. (Kinki)

I joined the union in time for the first strike of 2014, and I've been on the executive committee since 2015. I volunteered for the executive committee largely out of curiosity; I wanted to see how the union and ECC operate. My motivations have developed since seeing ECC regularly violate labor law, nearly losing my job because I was sick, and seeing how poorly the company treated my wife when she was a staff member.

Even though I joined the union and executive committee with relatively little experience, the members have always been welcoming and encouraging. I'd recommend anyone interested to ask how you can pitch in and help in the union.

 

 Owen K. (Kinki)

I came to ECC through an in-country, part-time, dispatch route, something not very common. It wasn't long after taking on a full-time position that I found the problems I was facing weren't happening despite the company's efforts, but more because of them. Through the Union, the support network I needed was there, something that I am now a part of myself.

I came in from the fringes and less-traveled roads, and you will find me there still, representing the many of us who work in the diverse and lesser-known parts of the company.

 

  Sean T. (Chubu)

I'm from the U.S. and have been an instructor at ECC since July 2000. I joined the union in May 2014 because I found out that the company was planning on freezing the salaries of all its native instructors. For several years leading up to that it had been becoming clear that there were major changes in the pipeline.

As someone who has had to sign 18 one year contracts, it shouldn't surprise anyone that job security was also a deciding factor. I'm proud to be a part of an organization that works to ensure that teachers' rights are upheld and labor laws are followed.

 

T.B. (Chubu)

Born in Canada, my family have been strong union supporters for several generations, so I was happy to find there was an effective  union helping workers at ECC when I came to Japan.  I feel that a union is especially important for people working in a foreign country; together we can overcome any communication or cultural barriers and create a positive work environment for everyone.

 


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