We need for everyone to join us in calling for reform. If you agree, We ask you to spread the word on social media. We thank you for your
★★★ The Labor Contract Law Article 20 trial: We are fighting for the elimination of
inequalities of non-regular workers. Please don't wait for the ruling, but rather engage in a discussion with us to find ways to put an end to inequality. ★★★
In August 2015, She(a member of our union) filed a legal complaint against Osaka Medical University (now Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University) in Osaka District Court based on Article 20
of the Labor Contract Law demanding "elimination of non-regular employee inequality". The lawsuit has entered its third year, and the final trial hearing was held on September 14. The verdict
will be announced on January 24. Along with the lawsuit demands, we have also been demanding retraction of her "yatoidome" (non-renewal of employee contract, tantamount to being fired), and calling on the University to conduct collective bargaining with our union. Despite our
formal demands, there University has not replied.
Simply stated, Labor Contract Law Article 20 states that there should be no non-rational differentials between regular workers and time-limited contract workers performing the same jobs. Since
the law was only recently enacted, taking effect in April 2013, there are not yet many court rulings. However, several other lawsuits are also ongoing, including two filed by Yusei union members
against Japan Post (the national post office, privatized several years ago) in Tokyo and Osaka. Other lawsuits have been filed against Nagasawa Transport, Hamakyorex, and Tokyo Metro
Even though she worked full-time, she was called an arbaito (part-timer)
From January 2013 until March 2015, she worked as a secretary at a professor's research office at Osaka Medical College (now Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical
University), and classified as an arbaito(part-timer) even though she was working full-time. Although she worked alone, her job had exactly the same
content and responsibilities as those of a professor's secretary and a research office secretary combined.
She was responsible for performing tasks for faculty members, from instructors through full professors. These included arranging schedules; doing paperwork for research budgets amounting to
several tens of millions of yen yearly; purchasing mice, reagents, and other items for scientific research projects; printing materials for faculty members' classes; editing test questions and
aggregating student grades; and sometimes even counseling students. Moreover, She handled these responsibilities by herself, since there were no other staff members in the
office. The job was full-time from Monday through Friday, and half-days on some Saturdays. So She worked exactly the same times as
She handled jobs for 30 persons by myself
Other research offices had two secretaries to handle all of the tasks. The neighboring research office had one secretary, who was a regular employee and who handled tasks for just six faculty members. However, She handled jobs for 15 faculty
members from the beginning of her job. Moreover, the numberincreased to 30 faculty members by March 2015.
Since there were just six faculty in the neighboring research office, the amount of work involved was completely different. In contrast to the regular employees, however, She received
absolutely no bonus and no allowances (though these make up one-third or more of compensation in Japan for regular workers).
(Her summer and winter holidays were much shorter also.) Her yearly compensation was one-third that of regular secretaries. Even newly hired regular employees earned twice she did.
She doubt that she would have sued the University if she had simply been doing the same work as the regular employees
in neighboring offices. But even though she was handling two or three times the workload, she was only earning one-third the compensation of the regular employees on the same floor, and only half of even what a newly hired regular
employee would earn.
While extremely busy with work, she often asked herself, "Why I am doing all this even though I am just an arbaito?" Still, she had the full trust of
the professors and was steadily entrusted with new tasks. Despite the problems, she was also enthused about the job.
Both inside and outside the department, she heard from other professors while talking about my problems. Sometimes, we were able to resolve problems in other professors' offices on the same
floor. She also became a regular confidant of various instructors and people working in research offices, and so she was able to mediate and resolve some of their problems with the
The work was very difficult but also very fulfilling, so she enjoyed it. For this reason, at the same time that she is
pursuing her lawsuit, she is also calling on Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University to retract her yatoidome -- that is, to renew my
contract -- and to engage in collective bargaining with our union. However, we have been unable to get the University to engage us in discussion.
She had never dreamed that such an "incident" would come into her life. Still, more than 20 million persons, 40 percent
of the work force, are employed as non-regular workers. That means that there is not one person in Japan who does not know someone or have a relative working as a non-regular
employee. Inequalities are no longer just someone else's problem, and to start making even a little progress in reducing them, we need for everyone to join us in calling for reform. If you agree, we ask you to spread the word on social media.
We thank you for your support.