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Japan: Japanese workers allege labour abuses at US military bases

Author: The Asahi Shimbun, Published on: 25 November 2019

"Japanese worker abuse cases growing at U.S. military bases", 18 Nov 2019

At U.S. Army Camp Zama, two Japanese women employees were ordered to work late at an after-school child-care center for many days in succession without their consent.

One of the workers, who was eight months pregnant, along with another employee, were told by their supervisor that the decision was made by the U.S. military without regard to their personal circumstances...

...[T]he All Japan Garrison Forces Labor Union, which was informed of power harassment and other complaints at U.S. Army Camp Zama and U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi, started mounting a protest...

...The number of abuses by American managers topped 10 over the last year, causing victims to develop disorders, forcing them to be hospitalized and quit their jobs, although only one such incident previously was reported annually....A postal facility employee...was repeatedly verbally threatened, demoted for no reason and finally had to be hospitalized.

...[A] female worker was improperly reassigned and told that she faced punishment as she was suspected of leaking information...She took a medical leave but a survey by the union revealed that her supervisor from the U.S. military was responsible for the information leakage...

...[T]he labor union began talks with the Japanese Defense Ministry...in October on behalf of laborers victimized in the five most serious cases among other abuses.

...[T]he Defense Ministry notified the union that the work shifts of the expectant mother would be changed back to their original ones...“We will take proper steps to improve the working conditions of union members,” said a ministry official...

...Those working at U.S. bases are ostensibly employed and assigned to their workplaces by the Defense Ministry...[but] are subjected to management by American supervisors.

Officials from the Defense Ministry...cannot enter bases without the U.S. military’s approval...It is thus difficult for the ministry to ascertain the working conditions of Japanese workers.

...[A]nother problem is that workers at U.S. bases are not fully protected by laws and regulations that apply to private companies in Japan. They are not treated as public servants...

Read the full post here