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Japan: Union representatives urge govt. to enforce employment measures as over 40,000 workers lose jobs due to Covid-19

[Excerpt translation provided by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]

“No end in sight for ‘Covid dismissals’ as over 40,000 lose jobs, with over 10,000 terminated in less than a month. Union representatives submit request for Ministry of Labour, Health and Welfare to ‘provide individual guidance to companies’”, 31 July 2020

...According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the total number of workers who were terminated from their jobs has increased to 40,032 between February 4, when it began collecting data, and August 29. Of those dismissed, at least 15,000 were non-regular employees, which include temporary and part-time workers.

With the relentless stream of “Covid dismissals”, union representatives and temporary workers who lost their jobs submitted a letter asking the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to strengthen measures.

The ministry has asked staffing and temp companies to continue employing temporary workers by using the government’s employment adjustment subsidies. However, the joint representative for General Support Union, Kotaro Aoki, says, “The ministry’s request has no legal force, and companies are ignoring it.”

In response to the letter, the ministry reportedly said that the government cannot enforce its request and appeared to be reluctant about taking additional steps...