Why Is October 16th So Important To Interac?

In the midst of the General Union writing an article about Interac's recently announced "absorption-type split agreement" six regional companies, Interac has suddenly and unexpectedly sent time-sensitive letters to employees asking them to accept the changes that will come into effect on January 1st, 2016, or to lodge an objection by October 16th.

The letter - signed by Interac's president, and dated as October 1st - contains the following (selected) details:

We would like to announce that an absorption-type split agreement has been signed between Interac Co., Ltd and Interac [New Regional Company] Co., Ltd, wherein a part of our business operations will be transferred to the New Regional Company. In accordance with Article 2 Clause 1 of the "Act on the Succession to Labor Contracts upon Company Split" (herein referred to as the Law), we hereby give notice of the following items:

2. Effective date (hereinafter referred to as the Effective Date):
    January 1, 2016.


The letter then goes on to detail how the "succession" of an employee's contract will be managed, how the conditions and assignments of the contact(s) will remain the same, how you have a right to object to the split, and then the "due-date" for any objections.

The due-date to make an objection is October 16th, 2015.
Objections are acceptable only in writing and not by any other means such as email. If you are posting an objection, it must be received on or before the due-date above..."


So, just what are these changes, and why is there such an urgency behind them?

On September 17th, 2015, the President of Interac - Matsumoto Seiichi - sent an e-mail to all of Interac's teachers and staff to inform them that, as of January 1st, 2016, Interac would be fragmented into "6 regional subsidiaries wholly-owned by Interac" and that "each regional company will oversee operations and branch offices in a specific area of Japan".

The relevant contents of the e-mail are as follows:

"For reasons I will outline below, in January 2016 Interac will be making some important changes to help strengthen our lead in the market.

Interest in ways to expand and improve English education is very much on the minds and in the stated initiatives of both policy makers in government and opinion leaders in the private sector. Some of these policies are already in place. For example, from 2018 English will be compulsory for 3rd and 4th year elementary school students. We are confident that we will enter a period of rapid and sustained growth as the need for ALTs and other educational services increases.

We must consider carefully how best to position ourselves to manage the growth in the market. The ability to respond quickly to local market conditions and for speedy decision making will be essential. We have determined that establishing a series of regional companies will provide us with the flexibility and speed necessary to achieve this.

As a result, from January 1, 2016 we will organize Interac into 6 regional subsidiaries wholly-owned by Interac. The names of the new regional companies will be: Interac North Co., Ltd., Interac Kanto North Co., Ltd., Interac Kanto South Co., Ltd., Interac Kanto & North Central Co., Ltd., Interac Kansai & South Central Co., Ltd., and Interac West Co., Ltd.

Each regional company will oversee operations and branch offices in a specific area of Japan. The branch offices will continue to manage their clients and teachers, while the parent company, Interac Co., Ltd., will be responsible for overall strategic development and growth of the Interac group."

In accordance with Commercial Law (Article 5 of the Act for Partial Revision of the Commercial Law) we would like to confirm the details of the branch and company to which you will be assigned.

However, as your current work duties will be managed by a new regional company, in accordance with Article 2 Clause 1 Item 1 of the Act on Succession of Labor Contracts, your employment contract will be transferred to the new regional company."


Naturally, speculation about the intent of these announcements leads to one simple question: why now?

Like many Interac employees, the General Union has many concerns about this development, and - rest assured - will be seeking answers.

In the meantime, keep watching our website and Facebook account closely for further details. We will soon be advising both members and non-members on how best to proceed - an advisement which may involve lodging protests with Interac so as to protect your rights.

[October 14th, 2015]

 



Are you concerned about what this fragmentation might mean for your future? Tell us why you're worried by e-mail at:

union(@)generalunion.org


Do you have any thoughts or theories about these sudden developments and how they might relate to the changes in the dispatch and shakai hoken laws? Share your opinions on our official Facebook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/GeneralUnionJapan

 


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