From the Archives – British Culture Academy

Some things never change. Back in 2006 we ran a story from our sister union in Tokyo about problems at British Culture Academy. Here it is eight years later and they are just as sketchy as ever. The company has made illegal salary deductions for resigning, necessitating teachers lodging a case with the Labor Standards Board. Contact us if you work there. It just goes to show you need to keep a strong union in your work place.

 


 

Last year, a Nambu member at British Culture Academy (BCA) in Saitama demanded paid holidays be paid and to be enrolled in unemployment insurance.  Management hemmed and hawed, but after some pressure from the local Labor Standards Office finally paid up.

Although the member had been renewed five times in five years, BCA this year announced that all teachers must come to a “hiring interview” if they want to be “hired” for the next year.  The union protested.  The member went to what we called a “meeting.”  As predicted, BCA announced that our member had “failed the interview” and was therefore out of a job.

We sent him to do shuro-seikyu (reporting for work), and the company dragged him to the local police box.  The police had no idea what to do and nothing came of it.

Nambu sued in the Tokyo Labor Relations Board for unfair labor practices, asking for a ruling to reinstate our member.  The next day, management called our member and asked him to return to work.  However, he no longer had the monthly guarantee he had last year and was paid according to how many classes management provided.

Management begged us to withdraw the case now that he was back at work.  We said we would withdraw when he got last year’s conditions back.  Finally, after months of talks at the board, we signed a labor-management agreement returning his monthly set pay, unemployment insurance, and the like.  We hope to build good relations with BCA but we have to brace ourselves for possible trouble come April 2007.  In the meantime, we have another reinstatement victory.


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