In the booth: Blocking sexual harassment

Instructors at Gaba in the past struggled to have clients who harassed them blocked. The GU brought this directly to the company last year, and Gaba changed the rules. No one should be harassed at work. Here it is in graphic form:

 

 

Don't give Berlitz a free ride. Organise!

The General Union has been negotiating for pay before, between, and after lessons since 2007 and for the last seven years Berlitz has consistently told us that teachers DO NOT WORK BETWEEN LESSONS!

 

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Happy Halloween. Do you have your costume ready?

Halloween has exploded in Japan and most language schools make an event of it, requiring teachers and staff to wear costumes to lessons or a school party.

While some people don't mind, the union, and the Labor Standards Law, doesn't believe that employees should be burdened with the cost of a costume. If it is a requirement of your job to wear a costume the school should either provide costumes, or reimburse teachers for the cost of buying one.

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Disaster preparations at Gaba Corporation

Instructors who were at Gaba in 2011 will remember the trains stopping and the streets being clogged with cars. Some will also remember walking huge distances to get home in the middle of the night. The Tokyo government wants to prevent a repeat of this in the event of any future disaster.

On September 29th the union submitted a query to Gaba asking how they were complying with the Tokyo Metropolitan Govermment ordinance from April 2013 stating that companies should keep supplies in their offices in case of people being stranded in a disaster.  

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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.

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Sexual Harassment in Eikaiwa

The Japan Times has published another article dealing with incidents of sexual harassment in the English teaching industry. It is very sad that this kind of article is necessary, but it is. Sexual harassment in the workplace should not be accepted, and if it occurs it should be dealt with by employers. Unfortunately this is often not the case, particularly when the person doing the harassment is a client, as has happened at Gaba Corporation.

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Nova Continues to Stagnate for Instructors - want to help improve things?

Four years on from the acquisition of GEOS and a long period of restructuring and branding changes, things at Nova have stabilized. Old branches have been renovated, several new branches have opened, and new educational material is being published.

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Suing Nippon Steel - update

As many of you know, the General Union is suing Nippon Steel Sumikin Intercom (NSSI) over the illegal dismissal of two workers. At first the company claimed restructuring, however we have found evidence of the company advertising positions that our members could have done.

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A Christmas for Everyone

Christmas is for everyone. It may seem a little early to write about Christmas now, but at this time in 2013 Gaba Corporation were planning last year’s company Christmas party. Unfortunately instructors were not invited, which the union officially protested in negotiations with the company. Consequently, in June the union asked the company to invite instructors this time.

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Berlitz Branch Officers and Representatives

Joe M. (Chair - Umeda)

As a long term employee at Berlitz I take great interest in the direction of the company and the well being of my colleagues.

Being branch chair allows me to represent our members and ensure our voice is heard on an even footing.

 

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Achim R . (Nagoya)

Coming soon. Coming soon. Coming soon. Coming soon. Coming soon. Coming soon. Coming soon. Coming soon.

 

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Jools C. (Umeda)

I joined the General Union in 2002 and have witnessed some fundamental improvements in working conditions due to persistent union activity.

Our union brings change that goes far beyond the workplace and has a direct impact on society.

This keeps me focused on our overall long term goals.

 

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Ricky B. (Sannomiya, Ashiya, Nishinomiya & Hiroshima)

Hi, My name is Ricky and I have been with Berlitz since January 2000.

In that time I have seen many changes both beneficial and not so for employees and staff.

Recently I decided to step up to the plate and join the General Union as I felt the changes were now more detrimental to a suitable working environment for staff and teachers.

As an executive officer and local representative for Sannomiya, Ashiya & Nishinomiya I am here for you.

I strongly believe that a better working environment for staff and teachers is essential so don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or even wish to just chat about things in general.

My door and email address is always open for you.

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Ross R. (Umeda)

I’ve been with the union for over 10 years. 

I’m a member of the Berlitz Branch and work mainly in the Umeda Language Center.

I’m a strong believer in keeping workplace accountability to its employees high and the union has served that purpose well. 

I’m happy to listen to your workplace concerns and pass them along to the right person.

Additional information