Let’s establish a nationwide network of militant labor unions ! / Break through the brutal oppression against Kan-Nama ! / Withdraw dismissal of 1,047 National Railway Workers ! / Stand against the Corona massive unemployment !

Call for endorsement to November 1 National Workers’ All-Out Rally/ Stop Constitutional Revision ! 10 Thousand Workers’ Grand March

Initial Endorsers :

  • Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch (Kan-Nama)
  • Metal and Machinery Workers’ Union in Osaka (Minato-Godo)
  • National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba (Doro-Chiba)
  • Nationwide Movement against the Division and Privatization of National Railways and for the Withdrawal of the Dismissal of 1,047 National Railway Workers (Nationwide Movement of National Railway Struggle)
  • Grand Workers March to Stop Constitutional Revision and War

Now is the decisive moment to vigorously develop and strengthen the struggle for the revival of labor movement. It is our task of critical importance to establish a nationwide network of militant labor unions. Let’s all work together ! We are holding the 23rd November National Workers All-out Rally / Stop Constitutional Revision ! 10 Thousand Workers’ Grand March on November 1st this year.

Triggered by the Division and Privatization of National Railways in 1987, a series of neoliberal agenda has become rampant in our society. For desperate survival of the capitalist system, every realm of our society—employment, healthcare, social security system, education, etc.—has been put into a horrible state under the control of the “principle of competition”, which has brought forth a devastating social disparity with 21 million casual workers.

Capitalism now has no room for growth. Nevertheless, in order to maintain the capitalist system, the government sacrifices workers, orders the Bank of Japan to shift to unlimited purchases of Japanese government bonds and stocks, furthermore, invests the pension funds into the stock market. At the time when things have come to reach the limit and the brink of collapse, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the profound darkness of neoliberalism. A tidal wave of bankruptcies and massive unemployment is coming in this fall. “Enough is enough !”—everyone feels so and is trying to put his/her anger into action. People’s anger flames up everywhere in the world and our history is going to change.

The Division and Privatization of Japan National Railways (JNR) in 1987 was the biggest union busting and the worst dismissal in postwar Japan, that forced out 200,000 railway workers from their workplaces. On May 28, 1998, the Tokyo District Court ruled that the Japan Railway Companies (JRs) had no legal responsibility for the dismissal of 1,047 national railway workers at the time of the Division and Privatization of JNR because the JNR and the succeeding JRs were totally different entities.

To confront this outrageous ruling, three labor unions—Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch (Kan-Nama), Metal and Machinery Workers’ Union in Osaka (Minato-Godo) and National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba (Doro-Chiba)—started holding the Rally. We, three unions, shared anxiety and anger for this juridical move, because it would ruin workers’ rights all together.

More than 20 years since then, we are again at a crossroads of history. Kan-Nama has been under a large-scale and extraordinary brutal state power repression. The union’s cumulative total of 89 members have been arrested and detained for a long term. Every normal activity of Kan-Nama union, strikes, collective bargaining and so on became target of criminal repression. In spite of that, Kan-Nama fought 644 days to win back all arrestees and now the members are standing up to fight back. This is the fight for the rights and future of all workers in Japan.

In line with it, at the workplaces of JRs, within over about one and half year, 40,000 workers withdrew from unions under all-out heavy union busting.

The Prime Minister’s Office is leading to make JRs a model of “a society without labor unions”.
The Abe government has set a goal of “extinguishing the word ‘non-regular employment’ from this society”, meaning they aim to make a society in which total workforce is casually employed and thus ‘at-will employment, at-will firing’ becomes a new normality. Their scheme to revise the Constitution goes hand in hand with the assaults on labor movement and workers’ rights.

This is the truth of “Work-Style Reform” avowed by Abe. Doro-Chiba has been struggling squarely against this attack. Minato-Godo (Metal and Machinery Workers’ Union in Osaka) has been organizing the workers of small and medium-sized enterprises in its community across the barriers between these enterprises into one labor union. Their experiences are going to prove its real value of in the labor movement amid the pandemic.

The Abe Government, under the pressure of ongoing crisis, has been putting forward to a large-scale military build-up. He is urging to acquire “capability to strike enemy bases” and has insisted to achieve the revision of the constitution while he is in office, shamelessly exposing his political corruption and dirty selfish interests.

At the extraordinary Diet session next fall, the emergency clause for the constitutional revision is going to be focus of the discussion, taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. The Abe administration has already proposed the revision of the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response.

Against these attacks, Grand March to stop Constitutional Revision has been creating the epoch-making movement of “100 Teachers’ Declaration of Never Send Our Students to the Battlefields Again”, and it has organized a powerful struggle around the country in solidarity with Okinawa.

The explosive struggle, centering around the BLM all over the United States has been developing into a movement against neo-liberal policy. Korean Confederation of Trade Unions’ powerful advance through organizing million workers and the courageous struggles of Hong-Kong, EU, Middle East, etc. have been flaming up around the world.
Though we are confronting the difficult situation, such a restriction on overseas travel, etc. due to COVID-19, we will hold the Rally on Nov. 1, as an international solidarity action (in Tokyo and Seoul).

The fundamental condition of workers’ appearance at the forefront of the world has been widely created today. We appeal again. Militant labor union is urgently needed today.

Let’s revitalize the labor movement together. We will call on you to join us together with many of your colleagues in Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall on November 1.

National Workers’ All-out Rally on Nov.1/Grand March of Ten Thousand Workers to Stop Constitutional Revision
Sunday, November 1 noon/ Demonstration : 3:15 p.m.
Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall, Tokyo

Source:

International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles