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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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.

 

***

Achim R . (Nagoya)

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

 

***

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.

 

***

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.

***

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.

Strike wins Pay Raise, Lump Sum Payment at ECC

After months of negotiations with ECC and a one-day strike, General Union members have won the reinstatement of annual pay increases for full-time teachers, and a lump sum payment.

Read more...

Shimbashi LS Evacuation Poster Updated

At negotiations last week the General Union Gaba Branch asked the company a number of questions about emergency preparations, and showed a photo of the evacuation procedure poster in Shimbashi Learning Studio, which has been on the wall lacking an evacuation point for over 12 months. The company followed up on this and as seen below, there is now an evacuation point displayed at Shimbashi LS. The company is going to follow up all other LSs and ensure that they all have emergency posters with evacuation locations.

Read more...

Union asks Gaba to improve poor safety preparations

On March 11th, 2011 the fifth biggest earthquake ever recorded occurred east of Tohoku. Nearly 16,000 people died, over 2,600 are still missing and almost 130,000 buildings totally collapsed.

Instructors who were working that day know that Gaba Corporation was almost completely unprepared for this event, and the company's response was chaotic at best.

Read more...

Fairness in the workplace - A Berlitz story

Disciplinary procedures and student complaints can cause a lot of stress for many teachers. Teachers are sent into a room alone to face people who are in a position of power and often feel bullied into signing statements of guilt with no time to consider what is happening or get advice.

Read more...

Additional information