DORO-CHIBA RAILWAY UNION ON 3-DAY-STRIKE!
17 March 2006


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(Union News "Daily DORO CHIBA" No.6259,)(Japanes)

DORO-CHIBA RAILWAY UNION ON 3-DAY-STRIKE!

VICTORY FOR LABOUR SPRING OFFENSIVE!
ACCOMPLISH THE 2ND WAVE STRIKE FROM 16 TILL 18 MARCH!

Picture: Representatives of all the branches in Doro-Chiba stood on the platform at the rally during strike

After Safety Driving Struggle since 10 March, and after A Half Day Strike by Makuhari Branch on 13 March, Doro-Chiba railway union in Japan stood up for 3-Day Strike starting 16 March. Its All Rise Up Rally in Chiba Citizen Hall, starting 6 pm on 16 March, was filled with excitement.

NO FIGHT, NO SAFETY!

The Rally kicked off with the speech of Mr Yasuhiro Tanaka, president of Doro-Chiba union. He talked about the present situation and the foresight of Spring Labour Offensive in 2006. (Summary is at the bottom of this article.)

Family Member Society of Doro-Chiba union members gave a red flag with slogan - No fight, no safety! - to President Tanaka. Then, there were 2 reports on the Spring Offensive bargaining:

1) Passenger Train section: Bargaining for wage up. Fight against staff reduction in Makuhari area. Ensure good enough time for safety driving. Struggle against scrap-and-build plan of inspection and repair yard.

2) Cargo Train section: Problem of no wage up for consecutive 6 years. Growing difference of wages and periodic bonus in summer and winter between cargo train workers and passenger train workers. Serious problem of staff shortage. Broken and damaged rail tracks.

SAFETY STRUGGLE LEADS JNR 1047 FIGHT & LABOUR MOVEMENT IN JAPAN AS A WHOLE

Mr Kokubu, president of Doro-Mito railway union, sister organization of Doro-Chiba, told as guest: "For me, the starting point was seeing 2 waves of strike by Doro-Chiba 20 years ago at the time of privatization. I want to spread that fighting spirit all over Japan."

Mr Kitahara, secretary-general of Anti-Airport Joint Alliance of Sanrizuka and Shibayama in Chiba, expressed the strength of workers-farmers solidarity and said: "We cannot protect our safety without fighting. Let's keep fighting with all our might for the future of the workers".

Mr Yamamoto, secretary-general of Doro-Chiba Supporting Society, told about the impact of the strike and response from the street when leafleting.

A delegate from the Disciplined Teachers Society against Hinomaru & Kimigayo gave a report about their own struggle and said: "If we abandon the struggle, we would end up sending not just our colleagues but our students and pupils as well to the battle field literally." He said that lots of teachers are in the middle of "Sit-Down Struggle" to show their objection to Hinomaru and Kimigayo, emperor's flag and song, despite of harsher discipline.

It was reported that Doro-Chiba has received solidarity messages from Transportation Workers Solidarity Committee (TWSC) in the US and Metal and Machinery Workers' Union in Osaka (MINATO-GODO).

UNITY AND RECRUIT ARE MAIN FIELDS OF STRUGGLE

Mr Osada, secretary-general of Doro-Chiba, gave a keynote speech and told about the general situation of Spring Labour Offensive, attack on the Pacifist Constitution by ruling coalition, and the present situation and foresight of the JNR 1047 Struggle. He also showed 2 key points on Driving Safety Struggle. Strengthening the unity and recruiting the new members are the main fields of the Doro-Chiba's struggle now.

Mr Takaishi, executive member of Doro-Chiba and one of the 1047 dismissed workers at the time of privatization said: "We need to fill the Hibiya Music Hall to capacity with lots of people. If we can win the JNR 1047 Struggle, stream of society in Japan will change.

At the end of the Rally, representatives of all the branches in Doro-Chiba stood on the platform and made reports of the situation. Their resolutions were full of energies. Anti-Rationalization and Driving Safety Struggle which has been the central philosophy of the Doro-Chiba since its launching finally started to fit with wave of the period. Our strike until 18 March and Safety Struggle will become a beacon for workers in order to smash privatization and war politics. Let's fight under the everlasting slogan - No fight, no safety!

SUMMARY OF SPEECH BY PRESIDENT TANAKA: I SAW "WORKERS' SPRIT" OF OUR MEMBERS WHO KEPT FIGHTING IN THE MOST DIFFICULT TIME

Picture: Mr Yasuhiro TANAKA, president of Doro-Chiba union speaks at the rally

We went into Safety Driving Struggle since 10 March. The total number of 700 union members took actions despite bosses' huge pressure. Our 40 comrades in Makuhari branch struck on 13 March. 470 members are in the middle of 3 day-strike which ends the day after tomorrow. Here, again, I have seen "workers' sprit" of our members who have kept fighting in the most difficult time. Workers are leading existence of society, but they themselves do not realize that they are the ones. Leaders of trade unions have "forgotten" it as well.

So now, I want to go back to the basics of the basics. We have to face 107 deaths including a train driver in Amagasaki Accident. Three other precious lives have been lost in Hakubi Line as well. The Safety Driving Struggle is the struggle which makes the Doro-Chiba as genuine trade union. As long as we work for railways, we cannot and should not forget these basics. Now the problems of division and privatization have started to "explode". Each thing is not happening independently.

After JR-Union became the minions of the privatization and dismissals of 100,000 railway workers, managers got freehand for anything. It has been only Doro-Chiba union who has spoken out for the safety and has taken action for it. We can get sympathy and solidarity from lots of workers because they know we dare fighting in the difficult situation.

We are opposing impossible diagram like Narita Express (NEX). The bosses want us run NEX in just 53 minutes from Tokyo to Narita airport and we need to run in the very tight schedule just like the driver lost his life in Amagasaki Accident. Why the bosses cannot stop this? They make us running even though lots of rail tracks and sleepers have been seriously damaged. We are criticizing their system itself. This is the very point.

Now, when we see workers' lives in general, we can see that 1 in 5 families earn less than 2 million yen annually (approximately 20,000 dollars) and 130,000 families cannot pay even for the everyday lunches, pencils and notebooks of their kids without subsidy. Nearly 300,000 people cannot afford the insurance premium for National Pension. This is the reality in Japan now.

If a million council workers who are member of Zichiro trade union rise up against Bill of National Referendum to corrupt the Constitution, we can stop it happening. In Okinawa, 35,000 people assembled to fight against US-Japan military treaty. A spark could have evoked general strike.

It is each of rank and file workers who are changing the tide and the situation. In Korea, railway workers struck and said: "We are not working for selling products. We are working for keeping the safety" and they are the same workers just like us.

After the new train time table starts, 117 guards (conductors) will lose their jobs. The bosses want to reduce numbers of staff in Makuhari because we are strong there. They say they transfer the task from Makuhari to Kamakura, but they do not mind to form emergency shif in order to prepare the trouble. We cannot remain silent under such a situation. The period is surly changing. This is the idea that I want to share with all of you. Let's accomplish the strike!

DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA
Email: doro-chiba@doro-chiba.org
Web: http://www.doro-chiba.org/

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