STOP THE SUSPENSION OF UNION DRIVERS!
BOSS SAYS "GIVE UP DRIVING"
The Japan Railway (JR) Company have handed out a set of long term
driving suspensions - more than a month - in the Chiba driving section
and other sections (Chiba is the name of prefecture next to Tokyo).
They claim that union members "were sitting with their legs crossed
while working". What reason is this to suspend us from driving
for more than a month!? We are baffled!
THEY BLAME THE WORKERS!
They are the ones to blame for a series of accidents: Last year's
mass traffic confusion at Chuo Line with the overhead line changes and
the collision between construction machinery and a moving train at Keihin-Tohoku
Line, etc. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport gave an
unusual "Improving Business Operation Order" to JR Co. at
the end of last year. Despite its seriousness, the bosses still try
to evade their responsibility and to transfer the blame to workers.
Their misapplication of long-term driving suspensions show it clearly.
They desperately try to insist "we have given directions to workers
and done what we were supposed to do" in order to avoid public
criticism. We cannot let them keep doing this.
The National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba (Doro-Chiba) proposed
the file number 26 demanding these suspensions are stopped, at a meeting
with the JR Co. Chiba District on 21 May, and we criticized them.
THEY SAY "IT'S NOT A PENALTY BUT A KIND
Below is the answer that the boss in JR Chiba District gave us at
UNION: What is the reason for
this driving suspension?
BOSS: It will give us time to
re-educate employees. We need to do this in order to prevent driving
accidents and to evade customers' complaints. We will investigate the
reason for the accidents taking into consideration the employees' accident
history and working practices.
UNION: Who's decision is it whether
BOSS: It is for the Section Chief
to decide suspension. The District also gives instructions according
to its guidelines.
UNION: Do you consider the driving
suspension to be a penalty?
BOSS: The driving suspension is
not a penalty under the working regulations. But it contains a kind
of penalty factor to make them to think about their work practices.
UNION: What is the meaning of
a suspension on the grounds of "crossing the legs"?
BOSS: We wanted them to understand
proper working practices.
UNION: A union member has just
been ordered to rewrite the business plan. You have urged restoration
of trust but have actually only found fault. Long term driving suspension
for such a trivial thing could damage pride of workers with decades
of driving experience. Do you think the company has reaped any benefit
from the recent suspensions? What you have set up is a rule by fear
in order to make workers obey you.
BOSS: With the rewriting of the
Business Plan, we want employees to understand where the company stands
ARBITRARY SUSPENSIONS BY SECTION CHIEF NAMEKATA
The boss in JR Chiba District said the driving suspension was "not
a penalty", but they have actually suspended workers from driving
for a month and a half. If this is not a penalty, what is? Workers interpret
these arbitrary suspensions as punishment. We cannot allow them to do
this any longer.
We declared at the table that if they do this again, we will decisively
IMPROPER REMARK BY SECTION CHIEF
JR Chiba Section Chief Namekata has repeatedly made inappropriate
remarks with no regard to his social status and responsibility. When
a driver happened to speak to him at the end of his shift, and said
his eyes felt heavy, Namekata started to tell him to quit the driving
Section Chief Namekata: "Don't continue driving any more. You'd
better go to Makuhari inspection and repair yard."
If he understood his responsibility as section chief, he should never
make such a suggestion.
Chiba District, at the table, said: "The worker said he felt
his eyes were heavy just in the course of conversation. The two of them
just understood it differently. The remark was not made with malicious
How can they say it was "not with malicious intent?". All
the workers in Chiba Driving Section know what was meant.
Namekata gave an order on "Whistle" which forced workers
to violate the regulations last year. But Chiba District insisted "there
was no violation of regulation" and took him under their wing.
And once again, they are trying to protect him.
Section Chief Namekata is to blame. He should not be in this job.
We insist that JR Chiba District and Namekata agree never to impose
such suspensions again!
DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA
English page at: http://www.doro-chiba.org/english/english.htm