KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Statement on News Reports on "Fake Subcontract"
03 August 2006
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
- We are seeing a rash of media coverage on "fake subcontracting" at manufacturing factories and plants. The practice of using subcontract to fill their needs and cut personnel costs at manufacturing industry worksites have increased rapidly since the late 1990's. There have been phony subcontracting cases, where companies employing people dispatched by subcontractors gave work instructions to employees instead of the subcontractors. Only subcontractors are supposed to give instructions to the subcontracted workers. As a result, regular employees, dispatched workers, and subcontracted workers are mixed together on worksites. This creates a variety of wide differentials in working conditions that include wages, working hours, and safety and health at work. Moreover, it develops a problem where irregular workers cannot acquire vocational skills leaving disparities neglected.
- The Employment Security Law placed a ban on labour supply businesses until the Worker Dispatch Law was established in 1985 and thirteen allowable types of work services became available for dispatch business. However, during a revision in 1999, the law changed the method of listing types of dispatch work from a positive listing (consisting of allowable types) to negative listing (or prohibited ones). The 2003 revision broadened the allowable types of dispatch work to include manufacturing services, which drastically expanded workers dispatch practices.
- RENGO tackled those law revisions from the standpoint of wanting to stabilize employment/secure equal treatment for dispatched workers, and formulate "RENGO's guidelines responding to the revised Worker Dispatch Law" (at its 5th Central Executive Committee Meeting on February 19, 2004) in preparation for the enforcement of the law revised in 2003. REGNO decided that trade unions that receive dispatched workers should work on labour-management consulting with regard to accepting dispatched workers as well as properly improving subcontracting practices. RENGO made and distributed various materials to support and encourage those activities in the workplace. Further, at the Employment Security Subcommittee/ Panel on the Labour Supply and Demand System (part of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's Labour Policy Council), RENGO also raised the issue of fake subcontract practices prevail at manufacturing worksites and sought enforcement of supervision and guidance by the administrative authorities. Furthermore on July 31st, at the demand activity which RENGO conducted on the Health, Labour and Welfare Minister, RENGO placed "enforcement of guidance/supervision to clean-up fake subcontract" as one of its priority issues on the request and RENGO obtained a reply from the Minister that he would continue to intensify his guidance and supervision.
However, despite these activities, the fact remains that at many workplaces widespread fake subcontracting/ illegal dispatch have not been corrected. This does not excuse trade unions from the charge that they are unable to fulfill their duties completely in the checking and consulting on illegal acts/evasion of law regarding working methods – this is truly regrettable.
- Grounded in these current conditions and in order to bring about appropriatechanges in subcontracting services at manufacturing workplaces immediately, RENGOwill strongly demand that management comply. At the same time, RENGO will alsostrengthen activities that seek to eradicate fake subcontracting/illegal dispatchin every workplace through: worksite inspections and grasping a sense of theactual conditions at each affiliated organization, conducting labour-managementconsulting whenever they accept dispatched/subcontracted workers, make sure that(workplaces) fully understand they must obey legislation that includes the EmploymentSecurity Law, the Worker Dispatch Law, the Labor Standards Act, and the OccupationalHealth and Safety Law.