Many of you may have visited “Gyu-tan Tororo Mugimeshi Negishi” (hereinafter referred to as “Negishi”), a set meal restaurant chain known for its beef tongue. Ltd., the company that runs Negishi, is now in trouble as foreign technical interns and staff from organizations that support them are protesting against the company.
Japan is an economically rich country with various technologies. I came here because I thought it was a good and peaceful country.
That’s what Ms. S (a woman in her 20s) from Sri Lanka told me. She came to Japan in January of this year as a foreign technical intern. She underwent a month-long training program in Kobe with a supervisory organization that dispatches trainees to companies, and since February she has been working at Negishi’s Central Kitchen Sayama Factory in Saitama Prefecture. We asked Ms. S what had happened to her.
We asked Ms. S. about what happened to her. “The management organization affiliated with Negishi gave me a document saying that they would pay me compensation if I got infected with the new Covid-19 and spread it to my workplace, and I signed it. Another trainee even signed a document promising not to see his parents or siblings in Japan.
Even with the Covid-19 disaster, he was forced to live a life of inconvenience, with restrictions on going out and moving around. He was forced to live a life of inconvenience, with restrictions on going out and moving around, despite the Covid-19 scare.
I have a Sri Lankan partner in Japan, and at the end of July I found out I was pregnant. When I reported this to the supervising organization, the staff told me to choose between an abortion and returning home. I didn’t know what to do, so I ran away from the workplace.
Mariko Jay Tadokoro, a member of the labor union General Support Union, who received her complaint, said, “When we asked her for advice, she told us that she wanted to have an abortion.
Mariko Jay of the General Support Union, who received her complaint, said, “We received her consultation in August of this year. We were consulted by her in August of this year, and although trainees have the right to take maternity leave, when we spoke directly to her supervisor at her workplace in September, he did not seem to have a proper grasp of the maternity leave system for trainees. The supervisory organization has not even agreed to collective bargaining.
What does Ms. S want from Negishi now? She answered as follows.
In my home country, the spread of the new Covid-19 was so severe that I wished I could give birth in Japan. All I want now is to be able to take maternity leave and return to work at the factory, and for Negishi to be held accountable for its actions, and for the supervisory body to acknowledge the fact that it was pressing me to have an abortion or go home.
I spoke with the legal counsel for the supervising organization who had been in direct contact with Ms. S. He said, “The supervising organization has been trying to get the trainees to return to work.
The supervising organization is not the employer of the trainees, so it is not in a position to respond to collective bargaining in the first place. As of the end of July, we had only received reports that she wanted to go back to her home country temporarily, and when we asked her why, she did not tell us. At the end of July, we only received a report that she wanted to go back to Japan temporarily, and she didn’t tell us why. In August, when we looked for her and found her, we were told for the first time that she was pregnant.
The legal counsel for the supervising organization and Negishi Food Service, the intern’s employer, also spoke to FRIDAY.
The supervising organization explained the maternity leave system to the trainees, and we explained the maternity leave system to them again when they reported their pregnancy. Also, I heard that they signed a document regarding the new Covid-19, stating that ‘if there is any damage caused by the infection of the trainees, there is a possibility that we will claim compensation for the damage.
It is said that 90% of technical intern trainees are dispatched to companies through a supervisory organization, and in the event of such a problem, it is easy for confusion to arise as to where the responsibility lies. We are waiting for a solution to this problem as soon as possible.
From the December 24 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kazuhiko Nakamura (2nd photo)