RENGO Statements and Views
Statement Regarding Cabinet Approval of the Proposed Amendments to the Worker Dispatch Law
13 March 2015
Rikio Kozu, General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)
- On March 13, 2015, the Cabinet approved proposed amendments to the Worker Dispatch Law and submitted them to the National Diet. The proposal in effect removes the upper limit on the duration of temporary staffing. The proposal will increase the ranks of long-term dispatched workers who receive low wages throughout their working lives, and will also substantially curtail workers’ protection. It is deplorable that the government has submitted this new legislation, which is almost the same in content as last ones scrapped twice last year.
- The new government proposal is not in accordance with global norms that stipulate that dispatched workers are to be hired for a limited period of time and that they should enjoy the same treatment as regular workers. The proposal seeks to introduce permanent indirect-employment practices while not addressing the inappropriate treatment of dispatched workers. It does not offer any fundamental solutions to the problems facing dispatched workers, whose wages do not rise, who get no semi-annual bonuses, and who feel that they are unable to marry and start a family due to a lack of job security.
- The latest proposal, which is based on an agreement between the policy research chiefs of the two ruling political parties, now takes into consideration that the employment of dispatched workers should be temporary, and it clearly stipulates measures to stabilize the employment of dispatched workers. It also now includes a clause to ensure that research is conducted on the equal treatment of dispatched and regular workers. However, this latest proposal will still not be effective in protecting dispatched workers.
- The way the proposal was submitted to the Diet is also problematic. The proposal was created based on an agreement between the two ruling political parties, which was then approved by the Cabinet and submitted to the Diet. However, in accordance with the tripartism of the International Labor Organization, labor-related legislation proposed by the government should be debated by the Labor Policy Council of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Therefore, it is extremely problematic that the legislation was approved by the Cabinet without being debated by the council.
- RENGO will mobilize all of its resources and lobby inside and outside of the Diet to thwart the enactment of this government proposal that would curtail workers’ protection on the grounds that the numbers of low-income workers and workers without job security should not be increased.