Appeal for Labor Spring Offensive 2006
22 February 2006

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(Union News "Daily DORO CHIBA" No.6236,)(Japanes)

Appeal for Labor Spring Offensive 2006
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 leaders.

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 of workers!

[*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