Symposium "Realize Part-Time Workers' Law!"
03 December 2004
Photo: A panel discussion in session. (November 19, SOHYO Kaikan Hall)
On November 19th, RENGO conducted a symposium entitled "Realize Part-Time Workers' Law!" in Tokyo. RENGO General Secretary Kusano gave an opening speech in which he said that "atypical workers are on the rise. More than 80% of all workplaces have part-time workers. And more than 50% of part-time workers are doing the same work as regular employees. The Democratic Party of Japan has submitted a bill to amend the Part-Time Workers Employment Law and we are no longer in the discussion stage. We are working to organize part-time workers and want every union to push ahead by conducting thorough activities."
The symposium was co-sponsored by the Supporters for Part-Time Workers (whose official name is the Citizens' Conference for the Fair Treatment of Part-Time Workers). Representative Yamamoto of the organization addressed the symposium by saying "it is not only that part-time worker’s wages are low, but they are entirely without rights. The Labor Standards Law has not been upheld and part-time workers have been treated as a safety valve for Japanese economic conditions. People think that the issue of part-time workers is somebody else’s problem. It is important that we first create a law and then a reform movement to improve things. Let's make equality under the law a reality."
A panel discussion followed which was conducted by RENGO Assistant General Secretary Hayashi as coordinator and the following panelists: House of Representatives member Mizushima from the Democratic Party of Japan; Standing Executive member Kubo from UI ZENSEN (Japanese Federation of Textile, Chemical, Food, Commercial, Service and General Workers' Unions,); and Credit Saison Co., Ltd AC Center Head Yokoi. They conducted discussions on the criterions for judgment of equal treatment, the handling of workers/labor conditions which should be corrected so that they are equal. Furthermore, House of Representatives member Mizushima explained the outline of the Promotion for the Equal Treatment of Part-Time Workers bill to amend the Part-Time Workers Employment Law which was submitted by the Democratic Party of Japan.
From here on out, let's work to make the DPJ's bill a reality by starting a dialog together with part-time workers and then proceed with advanced activities in the workplace.