Seiha not abiding by Labour Laws?
by John Lesley
Seiha not abiding by labour laws?
My friend worked for Seiha English School. At first he signed a permanent full-time contract. This was all done legally and in writing. After his probation period was over he started his full-time contract. A few days into it, he was at work when he got a call from his supervisor. His supervisor was an American guy by the name of ******. Apparently there are 3 main supervisors....two Americans and one South African. Anyway, his supervisor told him that they would have to change the contract effective from a few days ago into a part-time contract. This would result in my friend losing 40% of his monthly wages as part-time contracts paid hourly and were much less in pay than full-time contracts. My friend asked why they were changing his contract. ****** said it was because my friend didn't submit a Health Check Document from the doctor. My friend replied that he was never asked to submit such a document. *******, abruptly said that he didn't care and was going to change the contract anyway. My friend told him that changing the contract without a valid reason was illegal under Japanese law, and that he should reconsider changing the contract. My friend pleaded politely with ******* but ******* didn't care. My friend was really shaken up by this event so he told ******* that he wasn't feeling well and that he might not be able to finish teaching his 6 lessons that day. My friend did say that he would try to finish all 6 lessons, but if he couldn't then he would give sufficient time to ******* to find a replacement teacher. ******* and my friend then ended the conversation politely. Suddenly an hour later, ******* came to the English school which is located in a busy shopping mall and began accusing my friend of being childish. He then started shouting loudly at my friend outside the school entrance telling my friend to get out of the school and leave Seiha forever. My friend reminded ******* that his behaviour was illegal under Japanese Labor Laws but ******* continued to threaten my friend by telling him that he didn't care and was going to change my
friend's full-time contract to a part-time one and pay him less. He told my friend that there was nothing my friend could do about it. ******* was very angry and arrogant that day. My friend refused to leave the school as he was scheduled to teach there, so ******* told him "I'm going to call the mall security and have them escort you out of the building". My friend had done nothing wrong but was being treated as a criminal by Seiha management. Eventually ******* called the Seiha head office to ask for permission to have my friend escorted out of the mall. His colleague told him to he couldn't do that. So my friend spoke to his colleague and *******'s colleague assured me that there was a mistake that ******* made and that I would be able to teach at the school and remain with my permanent full-time work contract. My friend got not apology from ******* as he left the school. My friend completed his work day. In the subsequent work days to come, many of my friend's Japanese colleagues were telling him that ******* and the other supervisors were bad-mouthing my friend at management meetings. My friend's colleagues were telling him this because they really respected and enjoyed working with my friend. Seiha management were really trying hard to damage my friend's reputation at Seiha, amongst the Japanese teachers. My friend couldn't handle the stress anymore so he resigned from Seiha. Seiha tried to illegally change my friend's work contract with no valid reason. They then proceeded to damage my friend's excellent reputation at work. An awful company to work for. Shocking to say the least!
Unfortunately, incidents where institutions and companies flaunt the labour laws are not isolated ones. Public junior high schools are notorious for asking teachers to work long hours unpaid! So government owned schools in fact, do not abide by government written laws!
Companies in Japan, do the same. Karoshi is a Japanese term describing death from overwork. It is common here, and takes the form of suicide, heart attack or some other malady caused by stress.
All over Japan comanies and institutions flaunt the labour laws, and Seiha is one of a long list of culprits.