NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Tokyo High Court decision on Prince Hotel Case
10 December 2010
The appeal period for the damages case involving the cancellation of the 57th Japan Teachers’ Union (JTU) National Conference on Educational Research scheduled for February 2008 expired on 25th November 2010, and the Tokyo High Court’s decision became final on 9th December 2010. As in the Tokyo District Court’s decision in July 2009, JTU’s claim has been recognised almost in its entirety. Freedom of assembly and association guaranteed by the constitution, as well as labor union rights have been upheld in the decision and we consider it to be a just and proper outcome. We would like to express our deepest appreciation to Affiliates, RENGO Locals and related organizations for their understanding and supporting.
This case was initiated when the Prince Hotel unilaterally terminated a contract which was concluded in May 2007 between JTU and themselves for use of the hotel as the venue for the 57th JTU National Conference on Educational Research to be held in February 2008. JTU applied for temporary injunction to declare the termination void and the Tokyo District Court granted this application in December 2007, as well as dismissing an objection by the Prince Hotel. The Prince Hotel then appealed to the Tokyo High Court which rejected the said appeal in January 2008. However, the Prince Hotel remained defiant and continued to refuse the use of venue which led to JTU suing the Prince Hotel.
The Tokyo High Court decision comes on the back of a total victory in the Tokyo District Court Case. It recognises the social significance of the JTU National Conference on Educational Research, points out the illegality of the unilateral termination of the venue use contract by the Prince hotel, and orders payment of compensation to JTU and partial payment to its affiliates, accepting JTU’s claim in its entirety.
RENGO confirmed its position on this matter at the 5th Central Executive Committee Meeting in February 2008 and continued to support the work of JTU throughout the 2 year 10 months period. Working together with ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), RENGO, together with all its affiliates, 47 RENGO Locals and Global Union Federations, strongly have been condemned the actions by the Prince Hotel and called for a reflection of their behaviour. Therefore, the confirmed court decision is a victory for our solidarity.
The Prince Hotel is urged to sincerely accept the outcome of this case, and respect basic human rights including the freedom of assembly and association, as well as develop an understanding of the significance of the labor movements and labor unions. We strongly hope that the hotel can transform into a sound corporation which fulfils its social responsibilities.
With the conclusion of litigation, RENGO activities related to this will end. However, RENGO will continue to take a stand against all illegal activities and obstructions standing in the way of labor movements. We will continue to work for the development of a sound democracy.