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Subaru probe finds 3,400 staff were not paid for overtime work

26 Comments

Subaru Corp on Friday said it did not pay overtime wages over a two-year period to some 3,400 employees who under-reported their hours, a revelation that surfaced in an internal probe following the 2016 suicide of an overworked employee.

The Japanese automaker, known for its Legacy and Forester cars, said the outstanding wages - from mid-2015 to mid-2017 and totaling 776 million yen - were paid retroactively to 3,421 workers last March.

The news was first reported in Japanese media on Friday after representatives of the deceased worker's family disclosed some of the findings this week.

In 2016, a 46-year-old white-collar worker jumped to his death from the roof of a Subaru factory in what authorities ruled as karoshi, or death from overwork. At the time, Subaru was enjoying bumper sales and profit due to the popularity of its cars in the United States, its main market.

In its probe, Subaru found the majority of workers it surveyed said they under-reported overtime hours "so as not to exceed the limit for the budget for overtime work".

It said it has since taken steps to make sure workers are unable to falsely report their actual work hours.

The automaker also said it owed the deceased worker 4.08 million yen in overtime pay, and that it remained in settlement talks with his family.

The pay issue comes after the revelation of governance lapses at the automaker since 2017 involving flawed vehicle inspections. That has led to the recall of hundreds of thousands of cars, pulling down Subaru's profit.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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So it didn't work, overtime just made things worse

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Go Japan Inc! That’s how you build a strong economy. You make people work for free. It used to be called slavery.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

There are also many issues at the Ota factory in Gunma with immigrant labourers, paid much lower wages, living in poor conditions, and being fired if they are injured on the job. As usual, these people are paid through personnel companies, so that Subaru can deny that they are treated badly, shades of TEPCO and it's seven layers of agencies.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Dang our auto industry really needs to be fine tuned, to much corruption is coming out of the exhaust

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This goes on in most Japanese companies, but the government does nothing.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

There is quite an easy answer to the problem, and it is that every worker is given a swipe card with his and her work details on it, the central computer can monitor where and when every door has been electronically opened, so when you start work and when you finish your movement within the co is monitored, it can also control security so it won't open doors if you dont have proper authorisation to a certain area, this way you can't lie about how many days, sorry hours you have worked overtime.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The pay issue comes after the revelation of governance lapses at the automaker since 2017 involving flawed vehicle inspections. 

Not only this but also the falsified data for fuel economy of their cars for decades. A Japanese company in all its glory.

 they under-reported overtime hours "so as not to exceed the limit for the budget for overtime work".

What does it even mean? Why not simply say that the workers were forced to report fewer hours by their management?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Brian, you'd think that would help the workers, but it would only go in the workers' favor if an independent watchdog could subpoena the entry and exit records.

At my company we have time cards that we have to swipe, but also have entry cards for the building as a whole, and those are checked to make sure we're not leaving the building during the work day too often; they even check the building exit times to make sure they align with the time card swipe times. Nobody proposes doing away with the time cards and just letting entry and exit from the building prove that we were at work!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

so anybody arrested yet, held in detention!?  do you feel it in the air, the magic of the apologetic bow is coming anytime soon, itt washes away all the wrongdoings, until the next scandal that is.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Profits rule and capitalism of this ilk means never having to say you're sorry. 弱肉強食 ( the weak are the food for the strong), as the Japanese are wont to say.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not paying overtime is a very common thing here. Most workers in Japan work many hours and are not paid for them.

The University I work at is another example of this.

Every month around the 25th of the month, a circular is sent out to everyone telling them to input breaks and reduce their working hours to how many hours a 40hr per week work schedule would equate to for the month. The foreign staff are the only ones that don’t receive that email. So if an employee worked 200 hours for the month as most typically do at the University, they are forced to input phantom breaks that will reduce their time to 176 hours or so.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Shouldn't someone at Subaru be sharing a cell with Ghosn for wage theft?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

@Joeintokyo, Well, they did "under-report" financial data, didn't they?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Yeah, I guess getting paid too much is a crime in Japan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Time to buy Korean cars.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hmmmm, are there any other Japanese car makers you're not telling us about ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Under reported? Who's in jail then?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Here is yet another example of just doing what your told for fear of being the one nail sticking out LOL!

Seriously!

Overtime! of all topics, MONEY! You trade your time for wages, and you slave, for a BILLION dollar company! Then after hours in the factory slaving, you decide as a group, shift, location not sure how? But you decide to work for free?

Not only can this MENTALITY which so prevalent in the Japanese culture get you killed (Sapporo Explosion) But now they allow themselves to have their freedom violated, and abused, as a result they enslave themselves, because common sense eludes them, and is more evident in as a group.

Absolutely amazing, just ridiculously humorous.

Seriously Japan never ceases to amaze me

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One can have decent working hours and still be profitable. Germany is a good example. There, depending on the size of the company, half of the board of directors are employee reps. Plus, 20 paid vacation and 13 paid holiday days is minimum.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hiro:

If going for quality only and not worker rights, sure go for Korean and Japanese cars. If going for quality and worker rights, German cars.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Go Japan Inc! That’s how you build a strong economy. You make people work for free. It used to be called slavery.

and now that Japanese workers have seen the light, Japan expects foriegners workers to replace them as slaves.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan expects foriegners workers to replace them as slaves.

Subaru's already been on that:

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/japan-subaru/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This was a really big deal. Because to those people they think that they did that just for not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow...first article in JT in a long time where there are no down votes in the comments section.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Subaru probe...sounds like a good vehicle

ීීී ී

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zan gyo dai o harae... pay for overtime. most workers in japan are regularly pressured into unpaid over time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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