A whopping estimated 15,000 employees have left the company in the last three and a half years
Employees targeted for dismissal for unreasonable reasons
The following is a full account of the outrageous tactics used to force employees into voluntary resignation for unreasonable reasons!
I have worked for several companies, including those in the automotive industry, but there were many strange things at Big Motor. There was no such thing as corporate compliance, and they valued company rules more than national rules. Especially when it came to human resources, I couldn’t get used to it until the very end. Every day back then was hard, so hard that even today when I think back to those days, I can relive those hard days.
Mr. A confesses that while at Big Motor, he was in charge of “firing people” and forced a number of employees to voluntarily resign.
On August 11, the Mito District Court accepted the claim of a man in his 30s, a vehicle mechanic at Big Motor, who claimed that he was unfairly dismissed, and ordered Big Motor to pay 4.5 million yen in compensation.
In an exchange of lines between the company’s former employee’s supervisor and Big Motor’s headquarters obtained by FRIDAY, the headquarters asked the supervisor to reduce the number of employees, but also instructed him to “handle the matter as a voluntary resignation. The company would expel employees targeted for dismissal in the form of “voluntary resignation. This was Mr. A’s mission.
When the head office first told me, ‘Please don’t let Mr. 00 come to the store tomorrow,’ and ‘You, as the person in charge, should talk to him and ask him to resign voluntarily,’ I had no idea how I was going to persuade him to do so. It wasn’t because I made a big mistake at work and caused a huge loss to the company or committed some crime or anything like that. ……”
At a loss, Mr. A consulted with the human resources department, but the department’s response fell on deaf ears.
They said, “Human Resources cannot deal with it because there is a problem with the communication between me and the employee (who is urging the employee to resign). They wouldn’t deal with it. I thought they would give me advice on how to solve the problem because I was asking for help because there was a problem. ……
The company said, “Voluntary resignation is to explain the situation thoroughly after discussion and ask the employee to resign with understanding; if it is handled roughly, it will result in dismissal. If you treat it roughly, you will be dismissed. They did not listen to my concerns as I was asked to take on this role.
It is impossible to force employees who have no reason to be fired to “voluntarily resign” for the company’s own reasons.
What did you do if they seriously resisted? “For those employees who were difficult to fire, the head office ordered them to be reassigned. They would be transferred to another store, but the new location was too far away for them to be able to commute unless they moved. Employees with small children and other family members, who could not commute to the new location from their homes, were instructed to resign voluntarily in tears,” said Mr. A. “I have nothing but regrets.
Mr. A says, “I have nothing but regrets.
I still remember what a senior staff member said to me when I first became a site manager. I still remember the words of a senior staff member who said to me when I first became a site supervisor, “We have wives and children and our lives depend on it. I took this to mean that I should listen to what the company said, no matter how absurd the order was, and that I should protect my family first. So, whenever I had a hard time after that, I remembered the advice of my seniors and carried out my duties with a clear mind.
I am sure the person who was unfairly dismissed must have been in a lot of pain, but it was hard for me, too, because my supervisor, who was trying to persuade me, kept pushing me, saying, “Make him quit as soon as possible,” and “Convince him to resign voluntarily by giving him a good explanation. In my position as a middle manager, I couldn’t do anything about it. ……
After I left the company, I cooled down and looked at Big Motor from the outside and the first thing I thought was, ‘Why didn’t I speak up to the directors and headquarters about the unfair dismissal at that time? I really …… regret that.”
Until the resignation of former president Hiroyuki Kaneshige, 71, and others in late July, his son Koichi, 35, former vice president, and other senior executives visited all stores to inspect the cleanliness of the store and its surroundings, a task called “environmental maintenance and inspection.
Mr. B, who like Mr. A had been in charge of firing employees, revealed, “Kaneshige and his son like to play golf.
Kaneshige and his son are known for their love of golf, and in stores with employees who were good at golf and could give good advice, or who knew good golf courses and knew how to choose good places to have dinner afterwards, there were few cases of demotion or dismissal for unreasonable reasons.
Employees with good numbers (sales) were also liked. One manager was arrested on suspicion of injury, including injuring a subordinate for two weeks, but instead of firing him, he was promoted after the incident. It was a mess.
According to Mr. A, “company rules” were more important than “national rules” at Big Motor, but of course, not all the employees who were forced to quit for absurd reasons remained silent.
The photo above is an e-mail from an employee who was fired on the same day as an environmental maintenance inspection, complaining to the company about the unfairness of his dismissal. The employee was pointed out for his “inadequate greeting” and “hair color,” and although he apologized for his greeting and told his superior that he would change his hair color back to black, he was fired on the same day he was told to do so.
The Labor Standards Law requires that 30 days’ notice be given when terminating an employee, except in exceptional cases. It also does not appear that inadequate greeting or brown hair color constitutes a valid reason for dismissal. From this statement, it appears that there was no notice of termination, and it could be said that the termination was unfair.
If the dismissal was in fact a dismissal, why did the company force the employee to take the form of voluntary resignation? Why did they make the workers perform unreasonable work that would force them to voluntarily resign? Big Motor responded to this magazine’s interview with the following words.
However, we have not confirmed the fact that the head office instructed the person in charge at the site to take the form of voluntary resignation, even though it was in fact a dismissal. We have instructed our employees to follow the appropriate procedures for resignation in accordance with our regulations.
Is it “no fact has been confirmed” or is there no intention to confirm it? According to employee management data and other information, an estimated 15,000 people have resigned from Big Motor in the last three and a half years. ……
From the September 8, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY
Interview and text： Kumiko Kato (Automotive Life Journalist) PHOTO： Hiroto Kato (former president Hiroyuki Kaneshige, Mr. A) Shinji Hasuo (Izumi president)