Sit-In protest by the nation-wide union members in front of the Diet building

27 April 2006
On 25 April, the Labour and Welfare Committee of the House of Councillors discussed the revision of the twenty-years-old Equal Employment Opportunity Law. Four hundred union members from all over Japan went on a sit-in protest in front of the Diet building and some of them observed the Committee wishing to realize an Equal Employment Law.

In a gathering that was organised during the lunch break and stuck by a sudden thunderstorm, RENGO President Takagi stated: “Crucial bills that have been submitted to the current Diet session must be amended to be better ones. In particular, the revised Equal Employment Opportunity Law only has limited, insufficient provisions”. He referred to draft amendments that RENGO demanded: “The Law should have guidelines illustrating standards. It should be amended so that the whole society is able to tackle indirect discrimination. The Law should also specify work-life balance as a principle”. He appealed to lawmakers of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that they “take enthusiasm shown by union members including those in the gathering and win the amendments in further deliberation”.

   Many of lawmakers of the two Parties joined the gathering to cheer the union members. DPJ’s “Next” Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Mr. Sengoku, and SDP’s Secretary General Mr. Mataichi gave words of solidarity.

All participants of the gathering yelled slogans in chorus toward the Diet Building and promised to each other the realization of an Equal Employment Law.