Advertisement

The Rising Voice of Japan’s Community Unions

  • Charles Weathers
Chapter
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

Civic Engagement in Community Unions

Japan’s major unions are the most cooperative in the democratic world. Their economic pragmatism has contributed to the nation’s rapid economic growth, but a high price has been paid in the neglect of work conditions as well as the interests of female, nonregular, and small-firm workers. Community unions challenge the cooperative approach of major unions by representing low-wage workers while emphasizing social justice and equality. They have enjoyed considerable success in helping individuals and small groups of workers, and occasionally scored larger successes in legal disputes, but they have not been able to generate a broad-based movement capable of maintaining effective campaigns for labor reform.

However, the deterioration of Japan’s employment conditions since 1990 has steadily altered the environment for labor activism. The number of ill-treated workers has risen steadily, bringing stronger desire for representation. The economic crisis that...

Keywords

Social Movement Foreign Worker Union Official Civil Society Group Community Union 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Broadbent, K. (2005). Pawaa Appu! Women only unions in Japan. Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, Article 8 in 2005, 31 October, http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/articles/2005/Broadbent.html.
  2. Broadbent, K. (2007). Sisters organising Japan and Korea: The development of women-only unions. Industrial Relations Journal, 38, 3: 229–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Endo, K. (2009). Toshi-goshi Haken-mura no dai-seiko (The great success of Haken Mura). Keiei Ronshu, 56, 3-4: 97–109.Google Scholar
  4. Endo, K., T. Kinoshita, H. Fukawa, Y. Honda, M. Goto, H. Imano, T. Kotaniya, M. Kawazoe & H. Tabata (2009). Rodo, shakai hosho seisaku no tenkan o (Toward change in labor and social protection policy). Tokyo: Iwanami shoten.Google Scholar
  5. Fine, J. (2006). Worker centers: Organizing communities at the edge of the dream. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gordon, A. (1998). The Wages of Affluence: Labor and Management in Postwar Japan. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Heckscher, C. & F. Carré (2006). Strength in networks: Employment rights, organizations and the problem of co-ordination. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 44/4: 605–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Igarashi, J. (2008a). Shin-jiyu-shugi-ka ni okeru rodo no kisei kanwa - sono tenkai to hanten no kozu (Deregulation resulting from neoliberalism: the structure of change and reversal). Paper presented at Shakai Seisaku Gakkai convention, Tokyo University, May 24.Google Scholar
  9. Igarashi, J. (2008b). Rodo sai-kisei: hanten no kozu o yomitoku (Labor re-regulation: interpreting the composition of the reverse course). Tokyo: Chikuma shinsho.Google Scholar
  10. Ito, T. (2007). Ukeoi rodosha kumiai kessei ni yoru shiki-meirei kankei oyobi “romu kanri” no henka (Changes in supervision and “labor management” resulting from formation of unions by subcontract workers). Chingin to shakai hosho, 1446 (July 2nd half): 4–23.Google Scholar
  11. Ito, T. (2009). Ukeoi rodosha kumiai undo ni okeru kison rodo kumiai no eikyo (Influence of the subcontract worker union movement on existing labor unions). Ohara shakai mondai kenkyusho zasshi, 605 (March): 35–50.Google Scholar
  12. Kazama, N. (2007). Koyo yukai (Employment system meltdown). Tokyo: Toyo Keizai Shinposha.Google Scholar
  13. Kinoshita, T. (2007). Kakusa shakai ni idomu yunion (Unions challenging the unequal society). Tokyo: Kyoei Shobo.Google Scholar
  14. Kinoshita, T. (2008). Waaking pua no zodai to atarashii yunion undo (Working poor and the new union movement). Paper presented at the 117th Shakai Seisaku Gakkai Conference, Morioka University, October 12.Google Scholar
  15. Kobayashi, M. (2007). Rupo: Seishain ni naritai: Musume/musuko no hisan na shokuba (Report: I want to become a regular employee: our daughters’ and sons’ wretched workplaces). Tokyo: Kage Shobō.Google Scholar
  16. Kobayashi, M. (2008). Rupo: ‘Seishain’ no wakamonotachi: Shūshoku hyogaki sedai o ou (Report: ‘Regular worker’ youth: Chasing after the employment Ice Age generation). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  17. Konishi, J. (2008). Amagasaki-shi kanren de hataraku hito-bito ni seikatsu dekiru chingin o (Toward a living wage for people employed in relation to Amagasaki City). Rodo Joho(November 15, 2008): 7–9.Google Scholar
  18. Kotani, S. (2002). ‘Josei Yunion Tokyo’ no soshiki/katudo/kumiaiin ishiki - jenda- senshitibu na kumiai bunka he no chakumoku o tsujite. Tokyo Josei Daigaku Shakai Gakkai Kiyo: 29–57.Google Scholar
  19. Morioka, K. (2005). Hatarakisugi no jidai (The age of overwork). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  20. Nagamine, T. (2003). Komyuniti yunion (Community unions). In A. Hamamura & T. Nagamine (Eds.), Kumiai kino no tayoka to kanosei (The diversification and possibilities of union functions) (Pp. 37-84). Tokyo: Hosei Daigaku Gendai Ho Kenkyusho.Google Scholar
  21. Nakamura, K. (2007). Aragau wakamono: hiseiki koyo/wakamono no rodo kumiai no kuto (Fighting youth: the bitter struggle of labor unions for non-regular and young workers). Gendai riron, 11 (Spring): 34–41.Google Scholar
  22. Obata, Y. (2008). Ko-keiyaku to ribingu ueji undo no genjo (Public contracts and the state of the living wage movement). Rodo Joho (November 15): 4–7.Google Scholar
  23. Oh, H. (2008). Rodo kumiai no rodo funso kaiketsu-yobo he no torikumi ni kan’suru kenkyu (Research on labor unions’ prevention and resolution of labor disputes). Bijinesu reebaa torendo, July: 18–25.Google Scholar
  24. Pekkanen, R. (2006). Japan’s dual civil society: Members without advocates. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Sasaki-Uemura, W. (2001). Organizing the spontaneous: Citizen protest in postwar Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.Google Scholar
  26. Shinoda, T. (2009). Which Side Are You On? Hakenmura and the Working Poor as a Tipping Point in Japanese Labor Politics. Originally published in The Asia-Pacific Journal (April 4), accessed online at mrzine.monthlyreview.org/shinoda090409.html.Google Scholar
  27. Shinbun Akahata Nichiyouban Shuzai Chiimu (2007). Shokuba Rupo: Hiseiki Koyo o Otte Waaking Pua to Giso Ukeoi. Tokyo: Nihon Kyosanto Chuo Iinkai Shuppan Kyoku.Google Scholar
  28. Shiraishi, T. (2008). Jichitai hiseiki rodosha jishin ga ko wo agerareru jokyo-zukuri wo. Rodo Joho, 757 (December 15): 16–18.Google Scholar
  29. Shokuba no jinken (2006). Tencho datte rodosha da! (I am a store manager, but still a worker!). Transcript of presentation by Abe Makoto, 43 (November): 21–40.Google Scholar
  30. Shokuba no jinken (2008a). Chiho ni kakaeru koyo to rodo: Odate yunion no torikumi (Employment and labor in rural areas: Odate union’s actions). Transcript of presentation by Kigoshi Yoko 17 May 2008, 54 (September): 1–16.Google Scholar
  31. Shokuba no jinken (2008b). Toyota jidosha no kojo de (At Toyota automobile’s factory). Transcript of presentations by Uchino Hiroko and Sakurai Zenko of 26 July 2008, 43 (September): 17–37.Google Scholar
  32. Shokuba no jinken (2008c). Gaikokujin rodosha no nakama to tomo ni - honso suru chiiki yunion (With our foreign worker comrades: a hard-working regional union). Transcript of presentations by Hirooka Hojo and Ono Susumu of 23 August 2008, 55 (November): 26–47.Google Scholar
  33. Suzuki, A. (2008). Community unions in Japan: Similarities and differences of region-based labour movements between Japan and other industrialized countries. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 29, 4: 492–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tokyo Kanrishoku Union (Ed.) (2008) Giso kanrishoku (False mid-level managers). Tokyo: Popura Sha.Google Scholar
  35. Urano, E.I. & P. Stewart (2007). Including the Excluded Workers? The Challenges of Japan’s Kanagawa City Union. WorkingUSA 10 (March): 103–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yakabi, F. (2007a). Shori wakai de zenmen kaiketsu (Full resolution through a victory settlement). Rodo joho, 718-719 (May 1): 4–7.Google Scholar
  37. Yakabi, F. (2007b). Onna no rodo - pei ekuithi wo onna-tachi no te ni. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten.Google Scholar
  38. Yamahara, K. & (Eds.) (2007). Hiseiki rodosha no ran - yuki-haken-gaikoku rodosha no tatakai (Confusion of non-regular workers: Fixed-term, dispatch, and foreign workers). Osaka: Atto Waakusu.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Osaka City UniversityOsakaJapan

Personalised recommendations