English root

Unfair Labor Practices at Kansai Gaidai

kansai gaidai signThe General Union has sued Kansai Gaidai University (KGU) and SEICO at the Osaka Prefectural Labor Commission for unfair labor practices stemming from their violations of the Trade Union Law. We are asking for the following:

1. Stop anti-union activities and apologize publicly.

2. Continue the employment of union members.

3. Increase the number of directly employed faculty by giving preference to existing workers on limited term contracts employed by the university and SEICO.

Read more...

Survey of Over 1,700 Boards of Education

Two weeks ago, the General Union (in cooperation with our national union headquarters and sister unions) sent out a report to every board of education (BOE) in the country in regards to Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs).

As of September 13th (2019), we have received over 600 responses -much higher than our usual average in more limited surveys.

The survey follows the types of employment contracts for ALTs, illegal/improper dispatching, and - most importantly - what BOEs plan to do in regards to direct hire ALTs in 2020 when changes to the Local Civil Servants Law come into effect.

Read more...

Japanese Company (Glassdoor) Review Roundup (2019/09)

glassdoor logoBecause there are a lot of dispatch companies, conversation schools, and universities across Japan, it can be really difficult to keep track of which company is which - and just as challenging to form a general idea of what kind of (subjective) reputation Company A has compared to Company B.

Enter glassdoor.com - a "website where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and their management".

To save you a good deal of time and effort, we've taken the liberty of rounding up a number of Glassdoor review scores for many of companies that someone in the English-language profession might be interested in to help you gain an idea of which employers might be good to work for - and which ones might be best to avoid.

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #66 (07/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes, government discussions, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

[OP-ED] "Make Happy"? No Thanks!

make happy op edI have spent about four years living in Japan and came here later than most at the age of thirty.

In the past, I taught at a respectable private high school in England and a business training service center in Germany.

After looking at Glassdoor, I knew that English education standards were questionable in Japan.

Yet, I was genuinely surprised by what I experienced. 

Read more...

September 8th - Language Industry Shunto 2020 Organising Meeting

Union leaders from around Japan representing workers at major language schools will meet to start planning Shunto 2020.

The first stage of planning will be creating a comprehensive assessment of working conditions at all the major schools.

Our goal is to make sure the highest common denominator is used at all schools to set working conditions, as opposed to the race to the bottom that employers want to force on us. 

Read more...

Stop Harassment at Sophia University - Sign The Petition

Sign the Petition!

Professor Choo, a member of NUGW Tokyo Nambu, is fighting against her dismissal at Sophia University.

Sophia University issued a de facto dismissal notice on July 17, 2019 to Professor Kukhee Choo of the Faculty of Liberal Arts Department.

Professor Kukhee Choo left her university in the United Sates to join Sophia University as an Assistant Professor 5 years ago after being told by the FLA Department that, "As for promotion to Associate Professor, with your record, we strongly feel that you may be able to apply for [tenure] as early as your second year at the FLA".

Read more...

Gaba Corporation Safety Preparation Survey

The General Union has raised safety issues with Gaba on many occasions, resulting in more emergency drills and emergency supplies being provided for all lesson booths.

In light of the recent horrific fire in Kyoto resulting in a large number of deaths, and the general possibility of fire, earthquakes and other dangers, we would like to check in with instructors about the current safety situation at Gaba.

We hope that you'll take this quick and anonymous survey as we would love to hear from as many people working at Gaba as possible.

Labor Update Bulletin #65 (07/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes, government discussions, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

ECC: Union Wins Improvements for 2019; Vows to Keep Fighting in 2020

Six months of negotiations ended on July 21st without a strike, with members voting three-to-one to accept ECCs final offer negotiated with the union.

This year's bargaining had a lot of cliffhangers with two scheduled strikes being post-poned as we turned the threat of strikes into tangible gains for our members.

The package accepted by a vast majority of General Union and Tokyo Roso ECC members brings the following benefits to members:

Read more...

Serious Repression against Kan’nama and the Industrial Unionism : Seminar Report

The General Union adopted a special resolution to support the Kansai District Ready-Mixed Concrete Branch of the All Japan Construction and Transport Workers Solidarity Union (more commonly referred to as Kan'nama) at the AGM in May and has been participating in various activities to support this union against unprecedented attacks.

On July 20, we held a seminar to further deepen our understanding of the union's history and activities, and the reasons and background of this assault on union rights.
Accepting our request, Mr.Youichi Take, the General Secretary of the union came to our office as a speaker. Aaron Bucky, an Executive Committee member of General Union took the role of a translator.
In the seminar, reports, questions and answers continued for one and a half hours without a break.
Mr. Yoichi Take's reports and answers to questions were all clear and concrete.

Below are the contents of this seminar.  

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #64 (06/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes, government discussions, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

Time to PARiTY: General Union Activity and Policy Report

We welcome all those interested in our activity to view our public version of our 2019 Annual General Meeting booklet.

The booklet includes our June 2018 to May 2019 Activity Reports which cover all the General Union's activity at 37 workplaces. These cover a broad range of workplaces from language schools to universities.

Read more...

Saturday, July 20th - The Real Trade Union News in Japan!

We are inviting all union members and other interested members of the English-speaking community to participate in a rare opportunity. 

As you know, we have been supporting the arrested and detained union members from the "All Japan Construction and Transport Solidarity Union - Kansai Ready Mix Concrete Branch", also known as "Kan'nama"  (and these arrests are continuing - click here for more information).

We've now raised over 300,000 yen for their defense campaign and they thank us all for our support - including our participation in court-day events and picketing the Osaka Police Headquarters.

Read more...

Saturday, 20 July - The real trade union news in Japan!

We are inviting all union members and other members of the English speaking community to participate in a rare opportunity. 

As you know, we have been supporting arrested and detained union members (and these arrests are continuing - click here for more information) from the All Japan Construction and Transport Solidarity Union - Kansai Ready Mix Concrete Branch (Kan'nama). We've now raised over 300,000yen for their defence campaign and they thank us all for our support, including participating in court day events and picketing the Osaka Police Headquarters.

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #63 (06/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes, government discussions, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

Directly Hired ALT? Ready For The 2020 Punch?

Are you an Assistant Language Teacher who is directly employed by a municipal board of education?

If you are, we'd suggest that you pay attention to this article and even consider consulting with the union.

As you may know, the General Union has had dealings with various boards of education acros Japan - both now and in the past.

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #62 (05/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes, government discussions, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #61 (05/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes that have either passed or are being discussed in parliament, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

全国セミナー / National Seminar

labour rights seminar教育非正規労働者の権利を学ぼう

Labour Rights Education for Education Workers

福岡市: 7月7日 (Fukuoka: 7 July)   
名古屋市: 9月29日 (Nagoya: 29 September)
東京港区: 10月20日 (Tokyo: 20 October)   
岡山市: 10月27日 (Okayama: 27 October)
大阪市: 11月17日 (Osaka: 17 November) 

Read more...

Special Appeal and Request for Support

Donate to the defence fund!

※ If you are a union or organisation that would like to send a message of solidarity, please click here.

There is currently an unprecedented attack against a labour union in Japan.

This union is the Kansai District Ready-Mixed Concrete Branch of the All Japan Construction and Transport Workers Solidarity Union (more commonly referred to as Kan'nama).

In the past few months, about 60 union members - including several union officials - have been arrested, detained, and charged.

Why are we now witnessing something never before seen in the union movement in Japan?

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #60 (05/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes that have either passed or are being discussed in parliament, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

ECC strikes postponed. New deadline set for end of June

As the union held three new negotiation sessions during May and some progress was made in terms of proposals from the company (they moved off their ALL NO plan), ECC union officers decided to give the company another month to try to resolve the outstanding points.

We will continue negotiations over pay and yearly working days as well as getting rid of some of the new conditions ecc introduced this year to limit the numbers of those on unlimited term contracts.

Keep your eyes tuned to this site for more details.

General Union Wins Continued Employment For Members After Coco Juku Collapse

coco union winIn February (2019), the language teaching industry was again shocked (but perhaps not surprised) by the announcement that the Nichii Gakkan-owned Coco Juku would cease operations, following in the footsteps of both NOVA and GEOS around a decade ago.

Perhaps more shocking, however, was the treatment of the employees by both the company and the in-house union (the Nichii Gakkan Labor Union) - a union that employees were required to join. 

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #59 (04/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes that have either passed or are being discussed in parliament, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

New Era Starts In Japan; "Same Old, Same Old" At ECC

ecc same old same old※ Strikes planned for May 25th and June 1st.

On April 14, 2019, union members representing over 150 ECC employees in Kinki, Kanto, and Chubu, voted to take strike action at ECC if negotiations could not resolve union demands by May 25th.

Not only is the employer's failure to offer a minimum across the board pay rise (which they have done every year since 2015, with the exception of 2018 when the union settled for a minimum "across-the-board" pay rise AND paid special leave) a slap in the face to the duty to negotiate in good faith, the employer has begun ridiculous attacks on employees. 

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #58 (04/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes that have either passed or are being discussed in parliament, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

Labor Update Bulletin #57 (03/2019)

labor bulletin 2018This bulletin contains information on law changes that have either passed or are being discussed in parliament, court decisions, and other labor issues in Japan.

We hope that some of this information will also be of interest to activists, supporters of the General Union, and those who want to know more about labor issues in Japan.

Read more...

Berlitz And ECC Branches Negotiations Over Pay And Working Conditions: Round 1

General Union members at both Berlitz and ECC began collective bargaining in January (2019) over pay and working conditions. After a few rounds of bargaining, both ECC and Berlitz members will get a chance to vote on whatever is on offer at their union branch AGMs on April 14th.

Turning down the proposals could possibly lead to a strike at both companies and, at this point, there is no clear proposal from either company over pay. 

Read more...

Berlitz And ECC Branches Negotiations Over Pay And Working Conditions: Round 1 (Berlitz)

General Union members at both Berlitz and ECC began collective bargaining in January (2019) over pay and working conditions. After a few rounds of bargaining, both ECC and Berlitz members will get a chance to vote on whatever is on offer at their union branch AGMs on April 14th.

Turning down the proposals could possibly lead to a strike at both companies and, at this point, there is no clear proposal from either company over pay. 

Read more...

Additional information