Call for Endorsement and Participation in National Workers' Rally on Nov. 5

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(Union News "Daily DORO CHIBA" No.60xx,)(Japanes)

Call for Endorsement and Participation in National Workers' Rally on Nov. 5
-In Tokyo, Hibiya Open-air Stage at 12 Noon on November 5, Sunday-

Let's Create a Nationwide Network of Fighting Labor Unions!
International Workers Solidarity Against Constitutional Revision, War, Privatization and Union Busting!

(English translation of an appeal to Japanese labor unions)

Dear workers across the country,
The Revision of the Constitution is now on agenda: we are at a crossroad of the history.

In the last session of the legislature the Koizumi administration submitted bills for the revision of the Fundamental Law on Education, for national referendum for the amendment of the Constitution, for introduction of Crime of Conspiracy, and for upgrading of the Defense Agency to a ministry. This move is evidently a reactionary, historic attempt of overthrowing Japanese social system established after World War II. With more than two third seats in the Diet, the governing parties tried to have all these bills railroaded through Diet as a preliminary step to the revision of the Constitution. However, they had to abandon this attempt after all, for among people there was a heightening general feeling that a dangerous and unbearable age was approaching and this feeling could, at any time, burst into an angry upsurge of workers. The battle was thus carried over into this autumn. Let us once again organize an all-out struggle!

The Koizumi administration has recently been promoting a quantum leap in Japan-U.S. Security Alliance. The mass media is crying out "threat of North Korea", taking full advantage of the test firing of missiles by North Korea last July, to incite chauvinism and nationalism. Its aim is to pave way for the constitutional revision. The aggravating situation in Iraq - quagmire as a result of the US aggressive war - is driving Bush and Koizumi more and more into a worldwide war.
On the other hand, three Laws on Administrative Reform and the amendment (for the worse) of the Law on Healthcare System were forced through in the last Diet session. Further, the government is preparing to legislate Labor Contracts Law that aims to destroy an eight-hour day and labor right to organize. Meanwhile, as a part of these reactionary offensive, a series of brutal police repressions have been taking place against fighting labor unions and civic movement in an extreme way almost denying the very existence of organized movements.
As a result of severe government's and capital's offensives, a large number of workers have already been deprived of their right to organize, thrown out of employment. Many of them have been downgraded to irregular job without any right. The gap between the rich and poor is now tremendously widening: people often talk about "inequality society": one out of five families yearly earns no more than two million Yen. Social security system including pension and healthcare is going to be dismantled. We live now in an age, in which we cannot survive without fighting back.

All of these clearly demonstrate what happens when labor unions are degenerated and workers solidarity is destroyed, letting free-market fundamentalism run in an unrestricted way. We should now focus our effort on changing the present situation of labor movement. We must take back labor solidarity and regenerate labor unions. Now, reserving difference of views and expanding opinion's agreement, let us organize a common action against the ongoing constitutional revision, war, privatization and union busting! Let us create a nationwide network of fighting labor unions!

Nakasone Yasuhiro, ex-prime minister, referring to the division and privatization of the National Railways (1987), which constituted the starting point of today's aggressive labor policy, has been repeatedly emphasizing that he had carried out his policy with an aim of destroying Kokuro (National Railway Workers' Union) and ruining Sohyo (the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan) and Socialist Party. Through getting rid of these organized forces, according to his statement, Nakasone intended to enshrine "a (new) worthy constitution". He was followed by the former prime minister Mori, who recently proclaimed, "We must destroy Zentei (Postal Workers' Union), Jichiro (All Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Union, and Nikkyoso (Japan Teachers' Union)." As these two examples illustrate, union busting, privatization and drive for constitutional revision have been carried out together. The leadership of Japanese labor movement that has been limitlessly degenerating since the privatization of the National Railways, now even supports the revision of the constitution. Rank and file workers, however, are raising their voices of anger across the country against humiliating situation of the labor movement, overcoming the difference of national federations and union affiliations.

We three unions have been continuing to struggle together for rebirth of labor movement all through a year since the last rally of workers. Kan-Nama has fought back the arrests of its leaders and police crack-down and defended its landmark industrial policies, which the union has created over many years. Minato-Godo has been organizing most strained workers in medium, small and tiny enterprises in the area and fighting against bankruptcies and dismissals. Doro-Chiba has been continuing to fight for rail safety after the deadliest rail accident in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture in 2005, that was an inevitable result of the privatization of the National Railways. Beating back the unjust punishment upon the safety action, Doro-Chiba is strengthening this struggle. Further, Doro-Chiba is fighting for reinstatement of 1047 railway workers who were dismissed by the privatization. On the other hand, new struggles of workers are now emerging on shop floors and in communities across the country: education workers are fighting against coercion of "Hinomaru and Kimigayo" (national flag and anthem) in school ceremonies, postal workers and local government workers against privatization, workers and people in Okinawa against the transformation of Japan-U.S. Security Alliance and military bases. As was clearly shown by the victories of the struggles last spring against the introduction of the Crime of Conspiracy and against the revision of the Fundamental Law on Education, it is workers' struggle that reveals the true nature of the issue to the whole society and create a new dynamics of movement. In these struggles we have strengthened our solidarity and confidence: if we fight, we will brighten our prospects.

All over the world, workers are rising up for struggle. In France massive strike and demonstration of three million workers and students forced government to rescind the First Employment Contract. Korean workers have launched successive general strikes against bills on Irregular Workers and have blocked its legislation up till today. In the United States 10 million immigrant workers have taken to the street and many workers are beginning to wage militant strikes. In U.K. one and half million workers are rising up for a struggle to prevent reactionary attempt of changing the pension system. All of these struggles already herald the advent of a new era, in which more and more rank and file union members emerge as a powerful new stream and strenuously demand fundamental transformation and rebirth of labor movement.

We, undersigned unions, invite you to join the above captioned rally and to create together a nationwide network of fighting labor unions, which will break the thick wall in front of us. We wholeheartedly call for everyone who shares the aspiration with us to endorse and participate in the rally.

July, 2006

In Solidarity,

Kan-Nama / Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch
Minato-Godo / Metal and Machinery Workers' Union in Osaka
Doro-Chiba / National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba

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