February 13th National Workers’ Rally

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Let’s confront massive unemployment and start labor counter-offensive!
The future of all the workers depends upon the struggle for reinstatement of dismissed 1,047 national railway workers!

We are holding February 13th National Workers’ Rally for withdrawal of the dismissal of 1047 national railway workers [*1], against outsourcing of inspection, repair work and yard operation and for establishing rail safety. Join us!
Discrimination in employment finally revealed!
On February 16th 1987, Japan National Railways announced 7,628 railway workers not to be employed in the new companies, privatized railway companies. It was a flagrant unfair labor practice of excluding those workers who belonged to the labor unions that opposed the Division and Privatization of National Railways. 1,047 workers out of those who were targeted by this attack have since been fighting for the withdrawal of the dismissal and for reinstatement until today.
Twenty-three years after that the whole secret story of this unfair labor practice has finally been revealed. In the Tokyo District Court on December 16 last year, a former executive member of Japan National Railways made a testimony that the list of candidate employees of the privatized new JR companies included during the period from the end of January to the beginning of February 1987 the names of 12 railway workers who belonged to Doro-Chiba. It should be remembered that it was on February 7th 1987 that the Establishment Committee of JR finally decided the list of “new employees”. It means that in a brief moment of few days, those 12 railway workers belonging to Doro-Chiba were abruptly omitted from the candidate list by the direction of KASAI, the then vice chief of Personnel Bureau of JNR, now president of JR-Tokai.
What was actually happening on the scene of Japan National Railway at that moment? There was a shortage of personnel for the new JR companies in Honshu (Japan mainland) because a large number of national railway workers “voluntarily” left the job under the pressure of severe discriminative selection of candidates for new companies with the aim of union busting. In face of this alarming development, the JNR once made a decision that all the JNR employees were to be hired in the new JR companies since it had become obvious that the fixed numbers of the new employees decided by the cabinet meeting could not be filled. It was made public in an urgent press conference.

This unexpected development shook Tetsudo-Roren (Federation of Railway Unions), the predecessor union of JR-Soren (Japan Confederation of Railway Workers Unions, JRU) that had given in to the offensive of the privatization for its survival and played an active and violent role as tool of the JNR management in driving 200,000 national railway workers out of job. The leadership of Tetsudo-Roren vehemently urged the JNR management and the government to overturn the decision. On the convention of Tetsudo-Roren, an extraordinary resolution was passed, declaring that it never admitted the new policy of hiring all the employees and demanding, “Activists of Doro-Chiba and Kokuro (National Railway Workers’ Union, NRU) be excluded from the new JR companies”.

The discrimination in employment by JR companies was unfair labor practice carried out through the complicity of the government, JR management and JR-Soren. It is now evident that Division and Privatization of National Railways has opened up a series of recent capitalist offensives that have brought about the horrible situation today, in which more than ten million workers are thrown into irregular employment and poverty is prevailing. Now it was finally disclosed, in regard to the discriminative employment of JR companies, who were the main actors, what was played behind the scene and how the whole story really developed.

Now is the time to launch labor counter-offensive. The future of all the workers depends upon the struggle for reinstatement of dismissed 1,047 national railway workers. We are diametrically opposed to the defeatist line of the “Four Parties and Four Organizations” of dropping the demand of withdrawal of dismissal and of asking the political parties, such as Liberal Democratic Party and Democratic Party for “humanitarian solution”. We are firmly determined to rise up for the uncompromising struggle.

Stop outsourcing! No more Amagasaki rail accident!

JR-East Company is intent on waging total outsourcing of the inspection and repair work of trains from April 1st. In many workplaces, maintenance works of tracks and other installations have already been totally outsourced and station personnel and conductors have been replaced by irregularly employed workers who are low paid and have no right. As a result, severely damaged tracks are left without being repaired and defects in cars are frequently discovered.

The outsourcing offensive is exactly “the second version of the Division and Privatization of National Railway”. Twenty-three years ago National Railway was divided into seven Japan Railway Companies and now these seven companies are going to be divided into more than hundred subcontractors and sub-subcontractors. When it goes further in this way, rail safety will totally collapse and another Amagasaki or Uetsu-line rail accident is inevitable.

In past two decades, all corporations and enterprises have desperately followed this way putting absolute priority on the principle of merciless competition. What has been brought about is destruction of employment, slashing of dispatched workers, mounting number of working poor, prevailing poverty, dismantling of education, medical and social security systems. The structure of the whole society is going to fall down. It was the Division and Privatization of National Railways that started all these developments. And now JR-East Company is committed in outsourcing the essential works and operations for the sake of the “pursuit of maximum profit” in negligence of rail safety. Thus numerous workers are going to be thrown into irregular employment.

Most of the labor unions have helplessly given in to this offensive and have degenerated into tools to force workers to accept irregular employment. We urgently need to stop it. The future of all the workers is at stake. We are determined to wage a struggle to fight against rationalization, for rail safety in order to achieve the revival of militant labor movement.

Down with Democratic Party and Rengo administration!

The global economic crisis is raging all over the world. Workers are faced with fierce capitalist offensive.
The Democratic Party-Rengo administration is intending to launch constitutional revision, privatization offensive and destruction of employment. The attack is focused upon public service workers. Through introducing Doshu-sei (Wider Area Local Government System), 3.6 million public service workers are to be discharged. Implementation of the Law of Referendum for Constitutional Revision in coming May will trigger the move for the revision of the constitution. The Democratic Party-Rengo administration is pursuing the policy of establishing an East Asian Community for the survival of Japanese imperialism and is making a violent drive for a big military power causing an inevitable clash with the US interest. Thus the basic character of this administration that proclaims the revision of the constitution has gradually been exposed.

Counter offensive of workers has already been launched: 525 workers who are faced with the attack of the Social Insurance Agency to dismiss one thousand employees on the occasion of its privatization, are rising up for a fight against this attack, refusing all employment placement under humiliating conditions.
Brothers of Doro-Mito (a sister union of Doro-Chiba) have won a victory at the Supreme Court in its struggle for the reinstatement and got back steering wheels in their hands after 23 years. The dissident national railway workers, or the defendants of the case of May 27 Extraordinary Convention of Kokuro, succeeded to crush the desperate attempt of punishing them (for their activities of criticizing the policy of the Kokuro leadership to abandon the struggle of 1047 dismissed national railway workers for reinstatement) by the Law Concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others.
Our struggle is developing over the national border and international solidarity has been established with Korean, US, Brazilian, German, Turkish and Philippine workers. At home, angry voices are expanding in Sanrizuka and Okinawa.

*Withdraw the dismissal of 1,047 national railway workers!
*Absolutely no to outsourcing of works! Never allow another Amagasaki rail accident!
*Abolish Workers Dispatch Law! Win the spring labor offensive 2010!
*Crush Hatoyama administration with its plan of constitutional revision by the power of national railway workers, Sanrizuka farmers and people of Okinawa!
*Gather angry voices and revive militant labor union now!
*Regularly employed workers, irregularly employed workers and dispatch workers, unite together!

We call on you all to join us in the February 13 National Workers’ Rally! Please endorse our initiative and come together.

Solidarity Union of Motive Power Workers of Takasaki
West Japan Union of Motive Power Workers
Doro-Chiba Support Committee

February 13 National Workers’ Rally
Opening time: 13:00, February 13
Place: Outdoors Stage of Yoyogi Park B Section, Tokyo
(Protest demonstration after the rally to the JR-East Headquarters)

[*1] On April 1, 1987, 7,628 national railway workers were announced not to be employed in the new JR Companies. Most of them were employees of JNR of Hokkaido and Kyushu. They were told to be given opportunity of employment placement until March 1990. Thousand of those unemployed workers rose up for a struggle, demanding withdrawal of the dismissal and reinstatement to the original jobs. Doro-Chiba fought 84 hours’ strike in March 1990. On April 1, 1990, the JNR Settlement Corporation dismissed 1,047 national railway workers who had temporarily been “hired” there. It triggered the struggle of 1,047 workers. The struggle of 1,047 dismissed national workers for reinstatement is the greatest struggle against dismissal in the postwar history of Japanese labor movement, confronting the Division and Privatization of National Railway offensive and the actual situation now.


DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA
Email: doro-chiba@doro-chiba.org
Web: https://doro-chiba.org/