General News

We denounce this miscarriage of justice・不当判決糾弾!!

On May 23, an appeal verdict was heard in the “Osaka #1 Incident” case, in which the Osaka District Court in December of 2017 made an unfair ruling to smash a strike that was carried out by Zennikken Solidarity Union, Kansai Ready-Mix Concrete Branch (Kansai Nama-Kon, or Kan’Nama).


[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. 


An Invitation To Submit OP-ED Articles And Have Your Say

Over the years, the General Union has played host to a handful of "OP-ED" articles written by members and non-members alike. For example, one of our most recent opinion articles - "The Myth of Low Cost Dispatching" - garnered quite a lot of attention on both Facebook and our website.


Amid Political And Social Turmoil After Upper-house Election, Osaka Zenrokyo To Hold 27th Regular General Meeting

On July 10th, three days from now, the outcome of the Upper House election will be decided. Will the LDP and Komeito (plus Osaka Ishin) forces for Constitutional revision win a two-thirds majority, or will the opposition hold out? It's impossible for mere mortals to predict.


New member Orientations

New member Orientations to the union are offered three times per year. You can in person in our Osaka Office, or by Skype. This program will generally be on a Sunday evening - but, with Skype, we can be flexible.

After you have been formally ratified as a union member you will receive information on upcoming orientation dates.

Just joined the union and have questions? We'll cover these topics, and more:


Computers In The Workplace - Poll Results

On July 30th, the GENERAL UNION reported that it had won a salary increase and new computers for its members at Osaka Kun-ei Women's College. ("Kun'ei Teachers Win Computers and Pay Rise":


Declaration of the 2015 Osaka Zenrokyo Annual General Meeting

As well as fighting to win every one of our disputes, let’s stand in opposition to the gutting of the Dispatch Act, to the Zero Overtime Bill, to the legislation of “collective self-defense”. Let’s stop the out-of-control rampage of the Abe government and the moneyed interests. Let’s fight to build a society where workers can have peace of mind.


Vote Today!

Today is the day when the union takes it's annual strike vote. So if you are a delegate, make sure you get to the meeting!!!

The vote gives authority to the executive committee (about 20 people who are being elected today) of the union to approve strikes in specific workplaces. Without that authority, every time there was a strike, we would need to call a meeting of the union's delegates, with some of them being as far away as Nagoya and Tokyo.


Union establishes Kiva Lending Team

As a union we recognize the need to empower people. We empower our members to deal with problems in their workplaces, and we empower them to seek improvements in working conditions too.

A natural extension of our work is to help empower people in the wider community, both local and international. To this end we have established a Kiva Lending Team.


Union strength gathering to win the fight

On February 19, the customary Shunto (spring labor offensive) rally was held at L-Osaka with Union Network hosting. After the hosts' greetings, the first to stand up and give a special report were the plaintiffs of the JAL case, fighting restructuring layoffs. Undaunted by the dismissal of their appeal to the Supreme Court, they showed us their will to fight.


"No hands" Policy! – Opinion piece

Sitting in my staffroom the other afternoon, I cringed as I watched a Japanese colleague repeatedly hit a student over the head quite forcefully. It took me back to my teacher training days.

When I completed my elementary school teacher training back in the ‘80s, the most popular professor constantly drummed it into our heads: “No hands, no touch of any kind.“ He also told all the males “Never be alone in a classroom with less than 10 students.”


General Union to accept donations for Tohoku Earthquake

In view of the recent disaster, the General Union has cancelled this year's Hanami party and will instead accept donations in its place.

The union will make an overall contribution on behalf of members, but we are still asking for individual donations. The General Union donations drive is part of a national campaign by our union federation, Zenrokyo, with the donations then being sent to Tohoku Zenrokyo for disbursement.

You can make a donation of any size by visiting

Why did you join the union?

General Union members come from a variety of different workplaces and countries, and include people from at least six major language groups. Some join with their own individual problems, some with the idea of organizing all their coworkers into the union, and others who join just because they support unions.


General Union - In the News!

You all know what the General Union does, right? Organize unions, talk to members about workplace problems, intervene on behalf of members directly with their employers, create a forum for members to participate in the union’s life, etc. But did you know that your union is also regularly in the news and is regularly asked to comment on issues which effect foreign workers across Japan.


Applying for Osaka City Public Housing

Osaka City will re-start an application process for municipal housing for low-income earning households who are in urgent situation to find housing.


Repression and Revolt in Japan - The G8 Summit

Over the past week and a half, an unprecedented political crackdown has been enacted in advance of a series of economic summits around the country.


Chris English Masters Kyoto

We often report on the larger schools but here is a report from a smaller school. A long time member recently heard that there were mistakes in pay checks. After reviewing his records, he realised there were errors dating back as far as 5 years.


GU busts Nishinomiya board contract limits

On October 15, the General Union received a simple document bearing the seal of the Nishinomiya Board of Education (NBofE) stating that the five year contract limits imposed on foreign teachers working at the board would be lifted.


Additional information