On December 19th, the Union side offered testimony at the Tokyo Labor Commission through Mr. Wayne Viola, a senior teacher, who has been a Begunto member since the mid 1990s. The main issue is “bargaining in bad faith, and trouble with collective bargaining and negotiation.” Our side asked Mr. Viola to explain how English was the established language of negotiation through the decades until the lawyers arrived in 2009, and after that, would only speak to us in Japanese. This put up a communication barrier that made it very difficult to get any real negotiating done.
The lawyers on MGT’s side got to interrogate Mr. Viola, and tried to get him to admit that switching to Japanese was not such a big problem. For us, it has been an obstacle slowing down the process where instead of asking the native English speaking manager directly, we had to ask in English which was translated (by a Berlitz translator) to the lawyers in Japanese. They either answered in Japanese, or would speak quietly to the manager through the translator, get the inaudible answer translated back from the manager, and then answer us in Japanese with no translation at all for our side who initially asked the question in English!
On January 26th at 10 AM, the Union will have a chance to question management representatives. We welcome and encourage all who would like to attend.
Directions: Take Oedo Line to Tochomae Station, Exit A3, up two flights of escalators, pass passport office, up stone steps, into Bldg. 1 (dai-ichi honchosha) of Tocho Bldg., up elevator H to 34th floor. Check bulletin board for room number.
Or take underground pathway from West Exit of Shinjuku Station to Tokyo Metropolitan Bldg. (i.e. Tocho).
Dates to remember:
The verdict in the court case will be announced on:
February 27, 1:15 pm, Room 631, at Tokyo District Court