Photo: REUTERS
business

Mitsubishi Heavy asks other companies to take on its idle workers

15 Comments
By Maki Shiraki

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) said it has asked several other companies to temporarily employ idle workers from its factories in central Japan in a bid to cut costs and weather a downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic, two sources told Reuters.

MHI has approached firms in Aichi Prefecture including Toyota Motor Corp-affiliated parts maker Toyoda Gosei, about transferring dozens of workers for up to three years from January, the sources with knowledge of the plan said.

They asked not to be identified because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

"We are adjusting workforce levels through secondments, but we don't disclose the details," a spokesmen for MHI said. A Toyoda Gosei spokesman said he was unable to immediately comment.

Japan's biggest heavy machinery maker will on Friday release results for the three months ended Sept 30, after posting a 71.3 billion yen ($680 million) operating loss in the first quarter.

Local media reports and sources say MHI may also announce a new business plan that will include freezing development of its SpaceJet regional jet as airlines, including launch customer ANA Holdings, rein in costs to cope with a collapse in air travel.

Encouraged by the Japanese government, MHI started the SpaceJet program in a bid to become a global commercial plane maker. Technical problems, however, forced it to delay its first delivery to ANA six times from 2013 to the end of March 2022.

MHI is also a key aircraft parts supplier to commercial aircraft builders Boeing Co and Airbus SE , which have also been hurt as airlines struggle to survive.

ANA, Japan's biggest carrier, on Tuesday said it plans to send more than 400 people to work elsewhere after it forecast an operating loss of 505 billion yen in the year to March 31.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
Login to comment

These schemes of shuffling idle workers around, instead of real restructuring or downsizing, is going to hurt these companies' bottom lines even more, raising the likelihood that the taxpayer will end up picking up the bill incurred by these powerful and wealthy corporations.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Send resumes to China.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Not a good policy, give workers a fair redundancy package now and let them move on

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The "shukkou" practice is common in Japanese companies who are facing financial hardships. In a way it's the company's way of sharing the responsibility of finding employment for the worker. It's another option for the employee; to work at another company while your original company pays your salary and if the new company feels that they could use your talents, they could make the transfer permanent by negotiating with the original company and for lack of better terms, "buy the rights" for employment. The terms also usually state that when the original company returns to financial health the employee can return to the company, but for all intents and purposes, once the company can make do without the employee's services, a "return to the nest" would be very difficult. Should the employee reject being transferred, they are then given their notice and provided their severance pay. Major companies like MHI have unions that can support the employees during this transition period but employees at SMBs don't have this support or luxury. Good luck to the workers, I hope they can find something substantial in these days of the pandemic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@JeffLee

These schemes of shuffling idle workers around, instead of real restructuring or downsizing, is going to hurt these companies' bottom lines even more

Under Japan's Lifetime employment system, these laid off workers become employment ronins, moving between low-wage temp jobs but never able to find a permanent position in their middle ages.

@vanityofvanities

Send resumes to China.

Unless you work for a SOE, all employment in China is for a fixed-term, usually a year, and subject to renewal each year even for "permanent" employees. China has less job security than the US and most Japanese regular workers groomed in Japan's lifetime employment system can't survive in an environment like that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The whole world should send china a bill.

If china had been responsible this big mess could be avoided.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Not a good policy, give workers a fair redundancy package now and let them move on

Move on to where? Better that they have an income, than nothing at all!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The whole world should send china a bill. If china had been responsible this big mess could be avoided.

What a naïve way of thinking. Always look to blame others. Could China have done things differently? Maybe so.

But then each country is responsible for it's own actions! Time to grow up and face reality.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I’m with @vanity.

china is the worlds biggest and most successful country now. If we work together, both countries can gain. These workers are skilled and it would be a waste. China has the Belt and Road, which if we joined, our economy could increase by 40%.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I would NEVER want to work in China, the horror stories of foreigners in China are many, the authorities are ALWAYS tracking etc, no way in hell, add the poor environment, air & food & it will take many years off your life

Japan would be better off with people being able to take their damned holidays when they want to & to freely be able to change places of work!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

i used to live in China and had a great time. I would love to live there again, but I love Japan more.

@GW. You are right about working conditions. My partner in their whole working life has only had 5 days longest holiday that had to be organized 5 months in advance.

2 days were flights, one day was buying presents for co-workers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China has the Belt and Road, which if we joined, our economy could increase by 40%.

Open your eyes. Belt and Road is a debt trap and the Chinese are not shy about taking control of another nation's assets like their seaports when they get behind on payments.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

china is the worlds biggest and most successful country now

We have to buy medication and pay Momma's medical bills because the Chinese social welfare system for the elderly is so cheap. When she is in the hospital family members have to bring her food and change her sheets daily. Hospital staff doesn't do this daily and the little bit of food they provide is unfit for prisoners. If you think Japanese housing is compact you should see the place Momma lives in. A third of Chinese still live on a couple of dollars a day and you still need permission to live anywhere.  If you don't have the Hokou that says you can live in a particular place, you cannot obtain any public services in that place or send your children to school. China looks shiny and nice on the outside but inside it is rotting. And then there are the severe demographic problems it faces and for which China has no cure. In fifty years China will be a shadow of its current self.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Open your eyes. Belt and Road is a debt trap and the Chinese are not shy about taking control of another nation's assets like their seaports when they get behind on payments.

Your statement is half-correct. If Japan wants to join the BRI, the USA will not let them because China will get close to the American assets in the islandic nation. The ideal of BRI is both a massive overseas development program for the non-coastal regions of China and a really expensive bribery campaign (elite capture).

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/09/china-belt-and-road-initiative-mess-not-master-plan/

The BRI never intends on the debt trap because China doesn’t have military muscle to force host nations complying. Even the economic muscle isn’t enough to force host nations either, because any of them can default without obligation and the USA will back them. China has been working the elite capture programs through the BRI, which they want certain powerful bureaucrats on their sides. Like the case of Sri Lanka in the above article, which China bought their supports through BRI. In case of Japan, China already did an elite capture on the Keidanren (almost all of major Japanese corporations) and half of the LDP cronies. China doesn’t even need BRI in this case for Japan - the CCP can just shut down the flow of their tourists to Japan, nationalize Japanese assets in China and stop importing Japanese goods. Japan will certainly kowtow immediately to China if that happens.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Belt and Road is not good luck it is a trap for third world nations. I suggest that we have a Chinese bot here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites