2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index


In practice

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Anti-union discrimination17-05-2014

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) reports having witnessed many cases of discrimination against union members or activists. Companies are frequently refusing to bargain in good faith. In several cases management delayed negotiations with a view to block the bargaining process. Financial information about the companies that is essential for the bargaining process is only delivered after unions exert pressure. Concluded collective agreements are rarely extended and only apply to union members. Moreover, strikes in the public sector are forbidden, and incitation to strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
by public employees is illegal and punished with up to three years imprisonment. The Japan Confederation of Railway Workers’ Unions (JCRWU) reports being harassed by the Police and the Government on grounds of its alleged relations with the political group Kakumaru.

Obstruction of the right to organise31-08-2013

Under this programme, unskilled workers mostly from developing countries receive a one-year visa (renewable for up to three years) to come to Japan for technical training. Labour laws are applied to the trainees and they are granted the right to organise and so on, but it is reported that in some cases the trainees are sent to Japan by the dispatching organisation in their home country on the condition that they will not exercise the right to organise.

Furthermore, since the existence of an accepting organisation is a precondition for the trainees to enter Japan, the position of the accepting organisation is overwhelmingly advantageous compared to that of the trainees.

As a result, the strongly-positioned accepting organisations restrict the right to organise, and there are many cases in which trainees have been made to work long hours under very inadequate working conditions.

In addition, in the first stage of the technical training, the trainees are supposed to undergo a Japanese language course, but the judgment concerning whether the trainees are workers under the Trade Union Act during the period of the course is ambiguous.

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