Original] Subcontractors who worked for free for more than 40 million yen are furious: “We will not forgive the treatment we received from Big Motor. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Original] Subcontractors who worked for free for more than 40 million yen are furious: “We will not forgive the treatment we received from Big Motor.

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Mr. A., who agreed to be interviewed. In addition to pet hair removal, he also went to the store to rearrange the vehicles on display and wax the tires, all for free.

Mr. A. said, “Due to frequent and vehement requests for reductions, the value of our business has plummeted to about 30% of what it used to be. But they threatened us, saying, ‘There are a lot of vendors who come to us to sell their products,’ and we had no choice but to comply. I feel really frustrated.

Mr. A, who is in his 50s and is the general manager of a company in the Kanto region that specializes in automobile maintenance, was filled with anger.

On March 15, Big Motor was found to be guilty of malicious “subcontractor bullying. The Fair Trade Commission announced that it had issued 17 recommendations and guidance, the largest number ever issued to a single company. Mr. A., who spoke at the beginning of this report, reveals the actual situation.

The Fair Trade Commission has issued 17 recommendations and guidance, the largest number ever issued to a single company. One example of this was pet hair removal work. Pet hair entangled in car seats is difficult to remove completely and requires special equipment, so the market rate for the work is about 30,000 yen. However, at Big Motor, it was 3,000 yen. But I can’t complain if I am being flirted with a suspension of business.
I started my business more than 10 years ago, and at my peak, my sales were more than 1 million yen per month. But last year, sales plummeted to 300,000-400,000 yen per month. Looking back, I think it was after former vice president Koichi Kaneshige (35) took office five or six years ago that the severe requests for reduction began.

In July of last year, Mr. A complained to the manager of Big Motor, with whom he had a close relationship, about the difficulties he was having in making ends meet. In the third photo, Ms. A describes how she had to cut back her living expenses to make ends meet. The manager, however, simply replied, “It’s company policy.

There were many times when payments were delayed. We want to avoid delays in payment because business prices fluctuate in response to global inflation, but we were told, ‘The invoice has just been confirmed. But they would say things like, ‘The invoice has just been confirmed, but the closing date has already passed, so it will be paid next month.

Mr. A’s company has been treated unfairly for a long time. He says his company has been treated unfairly for a long time and, in response to the announcement, has decided to fight the case.

We even sent a petition to Big Motor’s headquarters alleging violation of the Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds, Etc. to Subcontractors,” Mr. A said. However, the company did not respond, saying, ‘There was no violation. In the last five years alone, we have suffered a reduction of at least 40 million yen in the value of our sales in comparison with the market price. We will be seeking compensation through our lawyers.

If I didn’t have insurance: ……

Mr. B, a 50-something owner of an auto coating company, was given unusual conditions to begin doing business.

He said, “They asked me the expiration dates of the vehicle inspections for my family and company cars, and forced me to take them at Big Motor. They also made me switch my car insurance to a non-life insurance company represented by Big Motor. When I refused, to my surprise, I was banned. There were many other unreasonable requests and non-payment, such as being forced to coat the manager’s car for free. But I had to put up with it because Big Motor is a big customer.”

Mr. C, who is in his 60s and runs a sheet metal painting shop, recounts how he was forced to repair the cars of Big Motor employees free of charge. They took the stance that since we were a subcontractor, they should do it for us as a service,” he says, “but we had no choice but to comply out of fear of having our business suspended.

Other cases identified by the Fair Trade Commission include the forced purchase of cars and free participation in weeding stores and cleaning gutters.

The Fair Trade Commission has requested that a third party be brought in to verify the cases and protect the interests of the subcontractors. Automotive journalist Kumiko Kato explains future developments.

She says, “Within Big Motor, the opening of an inquiry window exclusively for subcontractors is being considered. Since ITOCHU Corporation has just decided to invest up to 20 billion yen in the company, I believe that the company will place a high priority on compliance.
I believe that one of the reasons for the widespread bullying of subcontractors is, again, Mr. Koichi. Mr. Koichi is the one who created a culture that says, “The lower the cost, the more profitable the company is, and the lower the cost, the more profitable the company is, and the lower the cost, the more profitable the company is. Many of the employees who grew up in that culture will remain with the new company. As we start over, we should consider how we can get them back on the right track.

What does Big Motor think about the subcontractors’ plaintive cries? When we sent a letter of inquiry, we received the following response.

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience and anxiety we have caused to our business partners and all other concerned parties. At this point, we are taking action on the contents of the recommendations for improvement guidance, including the matter of (the opening of) a window.

Just before the start of the new organization, the actual state of the fraud was revealed once again. What is really needed for the restructuring of the company is not a huge amount of support money, but a common attitude of respect for customers and business partners.

Mr. Koichi A., former vice president, was named by Mr. A. as a factor in the bullying of subcontractors. He has continued to hide behind a cloud of secrecy even after his resignation until now.
Part of a message sent by Mr. A to the manager of a Big Motor store. Mr. A complained about his urgent situation, such as cutting back on food expenses, but he was unable to get anywhere with his complaint.
On March 15, the JFTC sent a report to Mr. A regarding the details of the punishment. In the report, the JFTC described the actual conditions of bullying of the subcontractor, including “having tires waxed for free” and “having additional work performed for free.
Unpublished cut from this magazine Front page of the report

From the April 5 and 12, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

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