SNA (Tokyo) — An Osaka-based labor union is starting to show the tables on police repression after years of illegal harassment.
The Kansai District Prepared-Combined Concrete Department (Kannama) of the All Japan Development and Transport Employees Solidarity Union has been preventing since 2017 to protect its constitutionally-protected collective motion rights within the face of a brutal crackdown launched by police and prosecutors throughout a number of prefectures within the Kansai area.
Since July 2018, union members have been topic to mass arrests on imprecise expenses corresponding to “forcible obstruction of enterprise” and “tried extortion” regardless of the truth that their actions had been restricted to routine actions for an energetic labor union corresponding to handing out fliers and checking work websites for labor regulation compliance.
The repression seems to have been triggered partly by a common strike in 2017 during which union members demanded a pay rise for drivers transporting cement and ready-mixed concrete.
They might even have been focused for his or her unusually efficient organizing methods, leftist ideology, and since many union members are Zainichi Koreans.
The worst of the oppression now appears to have handed. In a current press convention on the Overseas Correspondents’ Membership of Japan, lawyer Yuichi Kaido famous that each one the defendants have been launched on bail. Furthermore, the courts have been discovering union defendants not responsible in every of the instances which have concluded to date.
Furthermore, a number of embarrassing revelations have come to mild through the trials. For instance, one video proved that prosecutors had pressed at the very least laborer to go away the union. One other prosecutor was recorded making the assertion that the authorities will “put on the union down”–indicating clearly the unlawful union-busting intention of the authorities.
Regularly, help for Kannama has been forthcoming from different labor unions and consciousness of the case has been spreading.
Nonetheless, a lot of the harm to the union has already been executed.
For the reason that repression was unleashed 4 years in the past, Kannama’s membership has fallen from a peak of 1,300 to 800 members.
This was completed by heavy-handed means corresponding to subjecting union executives in addition to rank-and-file members to prolonged intervals of detention, consistently including new expenses so as to get round authorized necessities for his or her launch. Within the single-most outrageous use of this tactic, Yuji Yukawa, a high union govt, was held in detention for a complete of 644 days, although he has not been convicted of any crime.
Even these launched on bail have been prohibited from visiting the union workplace or participating in different union actions, violating the precept of freedom of affiliation and the suitable to collective motion assured below Article 28 of the Structure.
Whereas in custody, union members claimed that there have been situations of intimidation by police. Some stated that they had been informed that the investigations would cease in the event that they left Kannama.
The police crackdown, which was coordinated throughout a number of prefectures, strongly suggests a high-level organized effort to crush the union.
Masahito Nakai, an Osaka-based lawyer who represents Kannama, acknowledged in an interview with journalist David McNeill that “there is no such thing as a manner that the police throughout all these prefectures acted alone. It’s unthinkable. They needed to have been directed in a roundabout way.”
The id of those that gave the order to interrupt the union has but to be revealed.
What is obvious, nonetheless, is the conspicuous lack of protection of the case in Japan’s mainstream information media, which can have the sources to dig out the reality.
For a number of years, main newspapers paid little consideration to the acute union-busting actions of the authorities, and once they reported something, it was routinely simply to regurgitate the statements of police and prosecutors.
In keeping with the analysis of Mieko Takenobu, journalist and Professor Emerita of Wako College, the administration of the businesses which had been in battle with the union even instantly funded Hiroyuki Seto, a senior adviser to the explicitly racist Japan First Celebration, to model Kannama an organized crime group on on-line media.
The failure of police and prosecutors to uphold the employees’ constitutional rights to prepare, and the failure of the mainstream media to deal with these grave official abuses are unmistakable.
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