Nov. 2 National Workers All-out Rally
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<Nov. 2 Speech>
First of all I thank you sincerely for your long-years’ support to the national railway struggle.
Now we are witnessing an ongoing collapse of neo-liberalism which has raged for last 30 years and an inevitably brought about a fierce result of its contradictory development: as a typical case, 896 municipalities are facing bankruptcy and threatened to vanish. In a word, neo-liberalism has brought about a total break-up and downfall of the society. In spite of this serious outcome of neo-liberalism, the Abe administration is still intent to promote wholesale privatization, casualization of total employment, freedom of firing workers, deregulation of working hours, amendment of Workers Dispatch Law, reactionary revision of pension, medical and care systems, and so on. He is going to open up the last door to an all-out destruction of labor right.
We hear 20 million workers of irregular employment crying: “Let’s live!” While in Fukushima, radioactive contamination is spreading in an unprecedented scale never experienced by human beings before, the actual dreadful situation is concealed for the purpose of promoting nuclear power at the sacrifice of people in Fukushima.
The Division and Privatization of National Railway 28 years ago has triggered all these terrible developments. Japanese labor movement was forced to experience a bitter setback because it failed to militantly confront fierce privatization, outsourcing and union busting all through this tumultuous period. Now, however, the violent practice of these brutal onslaughts has gone too far beyond the limit. The full consequences of the brutal policy ended up with an imminent breakdown of the whole social system. Angry voices are mounting in the whole Japanese society and the history is going to move. Now is the time workers take back unity and solidarity and revive labor movement.
Looking back our struggle against the he Division and Privatization of National Railway for almost thirty years, we can proudly and confidently declare that our struggle has opened up a new dimension of Japanese labor movement never reached before: 15 years’ struggle to oppose to outsourcing of essential railway jobs to subcontractors by the privatized companies and five years’ endeavor to defend the militant tradition of national railway struggle after the concessive “political settlement” reached among the political parties and National Railway Workers’ Union on April 9th in 2010 to put an end to national railway struggle.
Meanwhile, we have got a great victory in the court struggles against the unjust dismissal of 1047 national railway workers in the course of the rail privatization: successively in 2012 at the Tokyo District Court and in 2013 in Tokyo High Court, we got judgments ruling that unfair labor practices were committed by the co-operation between the former Japan National Railways and its successors, Japan Railway Companies.
Thus the struggles against the unjust dismissal of 1047 national railway workers has succeeded to disclose publicly the true anti-labor nature of the railway privatization and acquired the highest position in the history of Japanese labor movement. We are now challenging a vital task of fighting back capitalist attack on workers to put them into irregular employment by ongoing outsourcing and to establish a link with dispatched workers in subcontractors of JR companies and organize them for a common struggle against outsourcing and irregular job.
Our colleagues of Doro-Mito are engaged in organizing strike in workplace in support of people of Fukushima, who have been suffering from the government’s policy of promoting nuclear power in sacrifice of people.
All these efforts just answer the urgent needs of the times to gather all angry voices of working class people against the present cruel situation for the advancement of the militant labor movement.
JR (Japan Railway Companies) are facing now a total systemic catastrophe 28 years after the rail way privatization. Rail safety is in a desperate and helpless situation. Four of the seven privatized railway companies are ranked as failed companies. In a desperate attempt to overcome the crisis, these companies are launching endless and unprecedented attack on workers in workplace by union busting and outsourcing. The situation in railway workplace is the severest since the time of the privatization. The time of showdown has come for national railway struggle. We are firmly determined to establish a General Federation of Motive Power Workers nationwide to revive national railway struggle.
Let’s rise up to stop war! That is the special duty of peace-loving working class. It is an essential struggle.
Speech on November 2 (KCTU)
Declaration of Struggle Related to Sewol Ferry Tragedy
On April 16, 2014, Jindo was nothing but a hell. Six months have passed but the time of the Republic of Korea has been freezing since that day.
“Stay quietly”—the passengers aboard were told as the ferry boat sank and the lives of 300 innocent people were buried in the sea. Ten bodies of student and citizen are still missing.
The capitalist greed triggered the man-made disaster. And the ineffective president did not bear responsibility for not having been able to rescue any of the victims. The horrific tragedy of Sewol ferry was not a simple accident but a massacre.
The president gave her word to fully investigate what really happened saying, “I will take this opportunity to make this country reborn.” But she fails to keep her promise. The grieving families of victims who should get consolation are fighting on the street in demand of the institution of a special law—at Gwanghwamun Square, in front of the Diet Building and outside the Cheongwadae (presidential palace). The Sewol victims’ families are now preparing to spend the winter on the street.
The president did refuse to take hold of the grieving families’ hands and completely ignored them. It was not the president but Pope Francesco held Kim Young-ho’s hand. The pope visited South Korea to console the victims’ families. Kim Young-ho, father of a high school girl Yoomin who died in the Sewol tragedy, was at that time on hunger strike for 46 days in Gwamghwamun demanding the pursuit of truth, the punishment of responsible persons and the institution of a special law to prevent further tragedy like the Sewol ferry incident. The pope remarked, “There is no middle road for grief.” This was a great comfort to him.
Tens of thousands citizens joined the hunger strike in the place of Yoomin’s father. The Sewol victim families are demanding the government to give them special legal powers so they are able to investigate and prosecute. But the ruling and opposition forces only repeatedly discussed about the adoption of a special law at the Diet. On September 30, after the long negotiation, two parties reached the third round of compromise. However, the demand of Sewol victim families was not reflected. On that day, the families shouted, “Now where should we go?”
On October 22, the KCTU Soul Regional Council carried out vigorously in the rain the “March in the Streets to Demand the Fully Investigation of the Truth of Sewol Tragedy.” The workers of KCTU go to Paengmok port on Jindo every Friday by bus named “Keep Waiting” to protect the ten families of missing people still deep in the sea and fight together with them.
The KCTU will stick out to fight together with Sewol victim families to make the decent Special Law be initiated. We will struggle to make our country with safety guaranteed. We don’t stay still until we realize a human-centered society where values of human life come first before anything including profits. We will act at our full power.
Sato Sachiko, Fundraising Committee For Fukushima Collaborative Clinic
When will Fukushima see the bright future?
DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA