Appeal for Labor Spring Offensive
February 19, 2006
54th Regular Committee Meeting of Doro-Chiba
The 54th Regular Committee Meeting of Doro-Chiba, assembled in our
Union Hall, unanimously adopted a policy for organizing labor spring
offensive 2006 with overall mobilization of the union.
We are now at a crossroads of history. Sixty years after the defeat
in World War II and the formulation of the Constitution, revision of
the Constitution is going to be an urgent agenda of the Diet. Discussion
is focused on the Section 2 of Article 9 [*1]. Current parliament will
also discuss the National Referendum Bill on constitutional revision
and revised Fundamental Law on Education. In 2006 Japanese working class
is faced with a historical choice: whether to allow again a drive for
war or to prevent it.
Against this background, a sharp polarization is taking place in labor
movement: on the one hand, intimidated labor bureaucrats are deserting
to the camp of the constitutional revisionists; on the other hand, rank
and file workers are raising their angry voices against corrupt union
A large-scale privatization and union busting are now raging over postal
workers and other civil service workers (several millions in total)
under the deceitful slogan of "from the public to the private sector"
of Koizumi administration. Overall attempts to deny the fundamental
labor right of association and to derogate a large number of workers
into irregular status are going to be launched through privatization
of postal services, legislation of the Market Test Bill, Labor Contract
Bill, introduction of crime of conspiracy etc.
The business circle appealed to the corporate managers "to be
righteous and strong" and declared that "business enterprises
are the masters of the society". They arrogantly insist that workers
have no right to claim their existence. Dismantling of pension system
and tremendous tax increases are planned. We live in an age, in which
it is impossible for working class to survive without fighting back.
Now resurrection of militant labor movement is a vital task. Let's gather
angry voices of rank and file and build up a new movement!
Collapse of safety has become every day incident on railways. Successive
railway accidents, such as Amagasaki, Uetsu-line, Hakubi-line cases
and recurrent broken railroad --- all these have been revealed as inevitable
results of the Division and Privatization of the National Railway. Japan
Railway management, while repeating apology for the accidents as lip
service, does not hesitate to intensify rationalization and downsizing.
No fight, no safety!
We are now confronted with a new stage of the second phase of the Division
and Privatization of the National Railway in March when on occasion
of the seasonal amendment of train schedule, JR management plans curtailment
of Makuhari Inspection and Repair Yard and abolishment of Kinshichou
outpost, replacement of Keiyo operation department by new Soga operation
department, total outsourcing of conductors of green cars as well as
station services. It is an all-out offensive of rationalization and
streamlining. Labor union is at stake. We are born in the struggle for
railway safety against rationalization and our unity has been forged
through this struggle. Let's strengthen the struggle for railway safety
against rationalization, coming back to where we started.
In JR-East, collaboration system of the company and Kakumaru [*2] has
finally begun to break down. In JR-Freight, chronic vacancies have become
acute problem and the work places are charged with danger. It is another
example of the exposed contradictions of the Division and Privatization
of the National Railway.
Very recently, in the struggle of unjustly discharged 1047 national
railway workers for reinstatement, an epoch-making success has been
achieved through establishing a united front, comprising all discharged
national railway workers beyond the difference of unions. On February
16th, 2500 workers overcrowded an assembly hall with seating capacity
of 800 to participate the Joint Rally of discharged 1047 national railway
workers in Tokyo. A new movement is going to be built up for revitalization
of labor movement and the struggle of 1047 workers will be a significant
stronghold of angry workers.
We are witnessing a great change of the age with working people full
of indignation against the existing system. An age is coming when working
class becomes the driving force of history. The development of the class
struggle in 2005 has convinced us of this. Victory of 100 day struggle
of Doro-Chiba for rail safety supported by passionate commuters and
workers; November 6th Rally with 4600 participants; dramatic development
of international solidarity; grave impact of the struggle of education
workers against"Hinomaru and Kimigayo" ceremony in defiance
of repression of fascist Tokyo Governor Ishihara; rank and file revolt
of municipal and postal workers against corrupt union headquarters which
prevented the Rengo leadership from deserting to the camp of constitutional
revision; great Fraternal Association (AMFA) over 200 days; Transport
Workers Union (TWU)'s strike to stop New York subways and buses, etc.
Workers December general strike of Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
(KCTU) for abolishing irregular employment; unlimited strike of Aircraft
Mechanics have begun raising indignant voices against unbearable conditions.
The time is ripe for a new trend of militant labor movement to make
a dramatic appearance. We have a common enemy to fight. When we are
united in our common struggle, we will be masters of the society.
We, Doro-Chiba, organize labor spring offensive 2006 as "struggle
for rail safety against rationalization", and as "struggle
for union member recruitment". To achieve these goals, we are ready
for strike and slow-down struggle. Carrying through these struggles,
we aim at reestablishing the struggle for rail safety against rationalization.
Let's prevent outsourcing and scrap-and-build offensive of railway depots.
We are going to launch the second round of the struggle for eliminating
unfair labor practices with discrimination in job promotion as focal
issue. Above all, let's make effort to gain new union members for the
future of Doro-Chiba.
Let's make a history and an age by the unity
[*1] the Section 2 of Article 9: 'In order to accomplish the
aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as
other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency
of the state will not be recognized.'
[*2] Kakumaru: one of the factions in the National Railways,
which spearheaded the division and privatization of the Japan National
Railways and is acting now as corrupt labor bureaucrats in the Japan
Confederation of Railway Workers' Union (JRU).
DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA