Employee who asks for improvements is not needed!? Don’t force me to resign, but let me return to work! Educational Corporation Yugakukan Mirai no Mori Gakuen (Sendai English Center)

  We, as a labor union, are currently negotiating with “Educational Corporation Yugakukan Mirai no Mori Gakuen (Sendai English Center).” Mr. X, an employee of the school, was given a stay-at-home order by the chairman whose purpose was essentially to “remove him from the office.” This is how it happened.


Difficult Working Environment; Opposition Leads to Bullying

  One day, Mr. X was removed from a task that was originally assigned to him. He was supposed to attend a seminar which trains him to better help foreign students applying to enter/remain in Japan. When this was reassigned to another employee, Mr. X asked the chairman why he did so without telling Mr. X about it. According to the chairman, “There is no reason to tell him because attending the course was not an official decision.”  Mr. X complained that he wanted advance notice because he was originally asked to attend. Unfortunately, the chairman started harassing Mr. X from then on. Business confirmation emails to the chairman who was on his business trip were ignored and the work instructions that used to come from the chairman ceased almost entirely.    


Disobedience Leads to Removal; Encouraged Retirement and Stay-at-Home Order

  One day, the chairman strongly suggested Mr. X to retire (so-called “Taishoku Kansyo” [encouragement to resign]) “on the basis that Mr. X had told a part-time worker that “the company’s working environment is bad.” Mr. X rejected this and expressed his wish to continue his job. The communication of this incident has been recorded. Despite Mr. X’s intention to work, the chairman still insisted Mr. X to resign. One day, without any justifiable reason, Mr. X was asked to go home right before the start of an all-staff meeting. He was also told that his salary would be reduced to his initial salary. In other words, the chairman was retaliating against Mr. X, who did not behave in the way the chairman wanted, by suggesting to reduce his salary. Again, Mr. X did not agree to quit his job. He liked his job which was fulfilling for him.


  The chairman however did not give up as well. The chairman held meetings with Mr. X several times, and asked him to quit work or else – fire him. Around this time, Mr. X submitted documents requesting for the unpaid salary and the improvement of power harassment etc. The chairman threw the documents on the floor saying, “This is silly,” “I am not going to pay” and “Please take it to the court.” The chairman’s attitude of rejecting the genuine request to improve the workplace with a remark “This is silly” is very inappropriate for a person in a management position.


  After this incident, the chairman gave Mr. X the stay-at home order. He was obviously trying to get rid of Mr. X who was persistently trying to pursue his employee’s right. The stay-at-home order was extended a few times which has been three months so far.


No Reason for Dismissal but No Intention of Having him Back

  To pursue his wish to go back to work, Mr. X joined the labor union and decided to negotiate through the organization. The school on the other hand does not want Mr. X back but there seems to be no apparent reason for dismissal. They have repeatedly commented that “they do not want employee in the institution who says that the working environment is bad.” This means that a person who expresses one’s opinion to improve the situation of power harassments is not allowed in this workplace.


  If the school succeeds to get rid of Mr. X, the work environment will worsen because no one would have to complain about their unlawful mistreatment. We, as a union, would like to support Mr. X until the school recognizes the importance of worker’s good working environment and Mr. X to return to his workplace. 


Mr. X – “I wanted a healthy working environment.”

  This job gave me the fulfillment of work; I liked helping foreign students whose circumstances confront difficulties to study abroad. I also enjoy helping them out for their daily lives. People who work here are however assigned with excessive workload. Neither the Article 36 (Notification of agreement on overtime and holiday work) nor the rules for overtime work are followed. We work 80 hours/month overtime on a regular basis which leads to many employees including me becoming physically and mentally exhausted. Because of this, there are not many employees in this workplace; only a small number of full-time employees. Although we ask for improvements, the chairman and the deputy chairman do not accept words that are critical of them on. This is not a healthy work environment.


  We believe that having a healthy working environment not only improves the business management but it also allows staff members to perform better and take care of students in a more satisfactory manner. This will contribute to the improvement of the school in the long run and in a more fundamental way. We request the chair and the deputy chair to understand the problem and consider improving the situation sincerely. We appreciate your understanding and support.