KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Statement on Diet’s Approval of the Bill to Revise Part- Time Work Law
25 May 2007
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
For the first time since its legislation in 1993, a bill to revise Part- Time Work Law was put into deliberation in the House of Councilors following its adoption in the House of Representatives (the Lower House), and today on 25 May, 2007, the bill became law as it was also approved in the plenary of the House of Councilors (the Upper House) with a majority mostly voted from the members of the ruling parties.
On the other, a supplementary resolution was adopted at the Health, Labor and Welfare Committee of the House of Councilors, yesterday. The resolution incorporated that the requirements for the short time workers to whom prohibition of discriminatory treatments is applicable should be carefully handled for fair operation, and that the scope of such workers should be made clear through providing judgment criteria.
JTUC-RENGO had demanded, from the outset, that 1) equal treatment for all part-time workers should be made obligatory, 2) commuting allowance should be added on wage items and 3) congratulations and condolences leave and consolation payment should be added on fringe benefit items. In order to realize these demands, JTUC-RENGO had carried out campaigns at the workplaces and local districts during the spring offensive period.
In the course of the deliberation in the Diet, JTUC-RENGO, in group, kept visiting the Diet to hear the deliberations in the relevant Committees of both Houses and organized indoor rallies in the Diet Houses. At the same time, JTUC-RENGO organized rallies together with concerned civil organizations like Civil Congress to Support Part-Time Workers which JTUC-RENGO supports. It is a regret that the bill presented by the Government was approved as presented, leaving the scope of workers who are protected through prohibition of discriminatory treatments very limited.
In the supplementary resolution, however, it was clearly specified that 1) the requirements for the short time workers to whom prohibition of discriminatory treatments is applicable should be carefully handled, on the base of the reality of employment, for fair operation, and the scope of such workers should be made clear through providing judgment criteria, 2) the aim of the revised law should be made so widely well known that part-timers who work long hours almost alike as full-timers also can be taken into account, and 3) it should be widely known that it is not legally permissible to make one-sided disadvantageous changes in working conditions of full-time workers without any reasonable reason, taking the opportunity of the revised law.
We appreciate these items of the resolution as these would be the basis for handling the revised law at workplaces, as well as for formulating ministerial ordinances or guidelines, and for reviewing the law in three years time.
In formulating the ministerial ordinances or guidelines in response to the revised Part-Time Work Law, JTUC-RENGO will continue to make efforts to realize our demands through deliberations at the Working Party on Equality of Employment of the Labor Policy Council. At the same time, JTUC-RENGO will continue to demand equal treatment for fixed-term contract workers and expansion of application of social insurance system on part- time workers.
Moreover, at each workplace, JTUC-RENGO will endeavor for securing equal and balanced treatment for part time workers, it is because the revised law only calls for the management to enhance the efforts, not mandatory, to guarantee the equal treatment for most of pert-timers. In addition, JTUC-RENGO will promote campaigns in concrete manners so as to secure effectiveness of the Law.