Compliance Problems Suspected at Local Govt Union

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers Union (JICHIRO)

Tokyo, Feb. 18 (Jiji Press)—Possible labor law compliance problems have been found at a majority of prefectural headquarters of the All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers Union, or Jichiro, Jiji Press has learned.

Of the 47 prefectural headquarters of Jichiro, the national labor group mainly for local government workers, 25 headquarters had no labor-management agreement on overtime limits with their staff. Ten of the 25 had no fixed rules of employment.

Under Article 36 of Japan’s labor standards law, employers must conclude agreements on overtime limits with employees’ side in order to have the employees work beyond the statutory working hours.

The law also obliges employers to draw up rules of employment if they employ 10 or more workers. Jichiro’s central headquarters in Tokyo urges regional organizations to set up such rules regardless of the number of their employees.

The absence of Article 36 agreements on overtime limits and rules of employment was found in a survey of regional organizations by Jichiro’s central headquarters in March last year.

The 25 prefectural headquarters without Article 36 agreements included those in Hokkaido, Aomori, Miyagi, Saitama, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Okinawa.

In September last year, the central headquarters told the prefectural headquarters to strictly comply with laws and regulations. The central headquarters will investigate again next month to see how the situation has improved.

In March last year, the Tottori prefectural labor standards inspection office told Jichiro’s Tottori headquarters to correct its practices for having employees work overtime without concluding an Article 36 agreement.

Jichiro, established in 1954, is an industrial labor union federation under the wing of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo. Jichiro had about 740,000 members as of August 2022.