Makuhari Branch begin the 1st wave of strike
13 March 2006

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(Union News "Daily DORO CHIBA" No.6255,)(Japanes)

Today (13 March), Makuhari Branch begin the 1st wave of strike


Today (13 March), Makuhari Branch of Doro-Chiba railway union has waged strike from early in the morning till midday. Forty members in the branch, excluding off-duty workers, held a rally during walkout and shouted the slogans:
"Stop outsourcing the maintenance work!"
"Stop redundancy cut of 12 workers!"
"Let's accomplish the Go-Slow Struggle and the 1st wave strike!"
"Stand up for the Strike on 16 March till 18 March!"


We collected 674 signatures opposing the cease of Kinshicho Examination Branch Office and handed them to JR East Company Chiba Branch at the collective bargaining on 10 March. This was the signature campaign targeting the train drivers in the region and almost all the workers, despite the difference of its unions, Doro-Chiba members, Kokuro members, Tetsusanro members, and even JRU members signed. Not just technicians, drivers and all the staff working for the rail want the continuance of examination branch office. We cannot let them reduce Makuhari Coach Branch and cease Kinshicho Examination Branch Office!


We also demanded more staff for the maintenance of Train-257 on 10 March. We have just 3 staff for maintaining Train-257, but the work has never been finished during designated time so far since its introduction. Obviously it requires more staff and we have kept demanding it. Despite understanding this reality very well, bosses in JR East Company kept refusing to deal with it. But on 10 March, they had to say: "We will consider it until August".

Overhaul work was outsourced at the time of privatization in 1987, but in Makuhari branch, subcontract has been canceled because "subcontractors could not arrange enough number of technicians". It has been managed directly by JR East Company there. This is the fruit of our fight but in Chiba branch, the bosses have not arranged the necessary number of staff. We criticized this at the talk and they had to admit their attitude was wrong. Now, they have to reconsider the number of staff.


On 9th and 10th of March, we had a talk on wage as well. JR East Company has had the biggest profit for the recent years but kept saying: We cannot offer wage up. During 5 years since New Frontier 21 Project, 85 billion yen of annual personnel costs have been cut because of mass outsourcing and restructuring (around 770 million US dollars or 420 million British pounds). They want keep wage low even after these mass cuts. Stormlike privatization and casualization has produced big gap among society, between rich and poor. This is the era workers cannot survive without fighting. Let's reclaim the Spring Labour Offensive!


The ruling coalition - conservative Liberal Democratic Party and Komei Party are preparing the National Referendum Bill For the Constitution Amendment and the Amending Bill for the Education Standard Act. They will move them in the present Diet. The biggest opponent is Democratic Party of Japan but we cannot rely on them. Sixty years after the defeat of the war and the new Constitution, we are standing again on the crossroad whether we let them start another war or manage to stop them.

It is not number of seats in the Diet but the trade unions we can and have to rely on. As long as we build-up big arguments that divides national opinion, they cannot force deterioration of the Constitution. It is up to railway workers, education workers, council workers and the working people in the all industries.

Most of the trade union leaders are, unfortunately, scared of enemy attacks and teachers' union Nikkyoso and council workers' union Zichiro might agree with the Constitution deterioration. However, rank and file workers are really angry with the enemy attacks. 250 teachers in Chiba, 200 in Kanagawa, 400 in Saitama have refused to obey "Hinomaru" and "Kimigayo", Japanese Swastika flag and emperor's song. 35,000 people including lots of council workers got together in Okinawa island against mass reorganization of US-Japan Security Treaty. 1047 sacked railway workers regained its unity despite the difference of their unions. Anger against the enemy attacks is higher than ever.

The 20th March is the 3rd anniversary of Iraq War. Bush and Koizumi cannot suppress severe resistance. They are trying to spread the fire to Iran or North Korea. We have to get our troops out of Iraq immediately. Stop deterioration of the Pacifist Constitution! Let's fight together against the war, privatization and union busting policy!

DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA