Comments on Passing of Workers Dispatch Law Revision Bill

21 May 2003

Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO)
Tadayoshi KUSANO

General Secretary

  1. This evening (May 21), the bill revising a part of the Workers Dispatch Law and other laws was put to a vote at the House of Representatives Health, Welfare and Labor Committee and passed by a majority with support from the three ruling parties. An appended resolution also passed unanimously during the committee’s vote. The revision (1) extends dispatch limits to three years, (2) lifts a ban on prohibiting dispatches to manufacturing businesses, and (3) drops prohibitions on prior interviews for workers classified ‘temp to hire.’
    In response to this bill, that seeks to expand dispatch periods and extend the range of businesses despite remarks by the Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties’ urging sufficient measures to protect workers, it is truly regrettable that the ruling parties rammed the bill through without any modification.

  2. The contents of the government bill were explained to the Committee on May 7 and were followed by inquiries on May 9, 14, and 16. During this period, the DPJ and other opposition parties have demanded deliberations after it was disclosed that the health, welfare and labor administration was involved in certain questionable situations. These included HLW Deputy Minister Kimura’s false statements on allegations of bribery, which resulted in suspension of the Committee’s deliberations, and political donations by a worker dispatch agency to former Committee Chairperson Sakai.
    They also keenly pursued the government’s basic stance that it submissively accepted industry-interest-biased labor legislation deregulation, which was led by the Council for Regulatory Reform any lacks any sort balance in the composition of the committee and has multiple members from the human-resource industry.

  3. While such background has been clarified, the DPJ and other opposition parties have demanded that the bill contain the following points. 1) Clarify the status of dispatch labor as a temporary work. 2) Implement a labor-management joint consultation system that requires agreement to introduce dispatch labor. 3) Stabilize dispatched workers jobs by matching dispatch contracts and labor contract periods. 4) Stipulate dual liability measures for health and safety measures and workmen's industrial compensation from those companies that receive and those that supply temporary labor personnel.
    However, we found the lack of any clear stipulation of worker protection measures in the bill along with the Committee’s decision to pave the way for easier expansion of dispatch labor to be critical problems.

  4. RENGO will hold thorough discussions on these various problems, through future deliberations at the House of Councilors, and focus every effort into realizing worker protection measures in cooperation with the DPJ and each other party.