TOKYO: Around 100 demonstrators from different unions gathered in front of the Ministry of the Economy on Saturday to march to the Prime Minister’s residence and demand the government take action on working conditions during the pandemic.
Defying government requests not to gather in groups because of the COVID-19 situation in Japan, the United Airlines Union, the Zenroren trade union, the Precariat union and other unions came together in Tokyo on a day that traditionally celebrates workers in Japan and around the world.
Outside the Prime Minister’s residence, the unions demanded an effective eight-hour day and denounced the worsening of working conditions since the Corona pandemic.
Asakura Reiko, a trade unionist, spoke of workers in difficult circumstances who can no longer pay their loans and are forced to ask for food aid. She also pointed out that many workers are having to take two or three jobs simultaneously. She emphasized that it was the responsibility of politicians to look after the country’s workers.
An air transport unionist spoke of job losses in the industry since the pandemic, including 83 from her union who filed a complaint against United Airlines for “unfair” dismissal and other grievances.
During the rally, trade unionists observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to all the workers who committed suicide either for reasons of overwork or because of poverty.