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Temp workers bear brunt of recession in Japan

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210,000 yen, a quick search of Gaijin pot will show that almost all English teachers are now considered low income job holders. 350,000 yen English teaching jobs are non-existent. In addition most if not all Westerners are required by visa laws to be contracted workers. (legally)

20 years ago English teachers made 250,000 yen, and today that or less.

Time to consider Japan a third world country?

Why do you think that salaries are so low, especially for teaching?

Outsource Companies! Billable to customer 350,000~400,000, average, pay 250,000~280,000 multiply that by 50, and you have some good income. I know one company that only has 40 or so western teachers working at various schools in Japan that make over a million dollars a year in sales. Now that is good money. Where are employees held? In eternal limbo at a low paying job.

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The profit margin you're describing is pretty standard and even below average worker dispatch companies. Though by your own math a million dollars in sales is low. Gross revenue is not an indication of profit. Don't forget they have to pay health insurance, pension, etc, not to mention the costs of sourcing and dispatching people. Plus gaijin need visas and at least 10% will cut out before they finish their contracts. May not be the cash cow you think it is.

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Ultradude, I believe the workers pay for thier own insurance. Pensions are not compulsory for Foreigners on temporary contracts and visas. English instruction dispatch companies really do rob the workers, if not all such dispatch companies. They provide a service to the companies looking for staff, and bleed the worker dry the whole time that they do the actual job.

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Wages for most workers have stagnated. While I don't think Japan qualifies as 3rd world. It certainly qualifies as having a declining standard of living. The country must find new ways to maintain itself because the years of rabid consumerism are over. That means less business for the production foundation of commerce here and less money to pave over the nation with construction. A new plan is needed. NOW!

Too bad the current government can barely work out how to tie their shoes.

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noborito, notimpressed,

in case you havent figured it out, yr run of the mill eigo sensei is NOT a carrer move, its for the young, they shud do it for no more than 2yrs MAX, then get outta dodge, that or run yr own school & move on to something along the line of a real job. To do otherwise is to set yrself up for a life of boderline poverty & misery pretty much guaranteed.

Not trying to be mean here, just truthful

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GW, is a perfect example why Japanese people can't speak English. Thinking that all English teachers are for the young is simply arrogant. Educators who actually go to school to learn how to teach, would find your comments completely disrespectful. You have disrespected an entire career field with those comments. Congratulations.

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Many foreign workers on these kind of temporary contracts are hourly paid in the range of 600 to 700 yen an hour for women and 1000 to 1200 an hour for men. Some are employed on a daily basis. The only way they make a living wage is by doing 4 or 5 hours of overtime every night on top of an 8 hour shift, and that gets them about 200,000 yen an hour. Some are being thrown on the street out of company dormitories, along with families, some are living in their cars. Months of falling pay and overtime hours mean most have burned away any savings they had on daily living costs. Some are having to take their children out of school. Others started buying a house a few years ago, and have been repossessed and ended up with nothing to show for all the money they paid in. Young, mostly single westerners without children in eikaiwas are really just a small part of the picture.

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noborito

perhaps you shud go back to the drawing board, do you understand the phrase I used above, "run of the mill eigo sensei" if you did you wud know I was refering to english teachers who ARE NOT ACTUALLY TEACHERS!

And with low salaries even for REAL teachers most wud be setting themselves up for a low std of living unless they already have a full bank account. Are there exceptions sure but not many.

And pls dont blame me for english ability of any japanese because I am not a teacher, thats why I didnt go that route when I hit these shores, congrats!!

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GW, I believe you may have missed the point, which is not english teachrs, but the state of contract workers, which includes almost all english teachers whetehr they are qualified teachers or not. Yor over-reaction to the whole teacher thing just proves you have some superiority trip over people teaching in Japan. Don't get too cozy on your own year by year contract either. And try not to be to quick to assume that people who might defend English teachers in Japan, are necessarily teachers themselves. Anyway, like I said, english teachers are not the point.

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You want real facts? English teachers and just about every other kind of teacher are undervalued and live with near poverty wages. These are the people who really give to our society. Education, English or otherwise, improves and empowers our society. Yet we underpay and disrespect this field.

If you have been here for a while you know that the years of playboy/girl eikaiwa have been over for a while now. I know a lot of teachers and most are in it for the career or because they care. But most are also underpaid and under protected in how secure their lives are. Yet they remain in demand. More should be done to secure their lives, or Japan should do without English schools.

But the problem this article is talking about is far more expansive. A huge percentage of working people out there are on contract work. As they are ditched to save money, the broad economic impact is very significant in terms of lost wages, lost spending capacity, lost tax paying capacity and creation of burden on social welfare.

If this is not soon reversed, most programs will fail and masses of workers will fall through widening economic gaps taking out local business and anything exposed to declining consumer spending with them.

Better laws to protect temp and contract workers are urgently required. And I firmly believe that companies should be unable to have long term positions filled by temps. If a job function is required for more than 2 years it should be a full hire position. If a temp/contract worker is in a role for more than 2 years he or she must be hired if the function is to be continued. Dismissal should only be possible with strong evidence to prove misconduct or incompetence.

Temp work should be temporary and not an excuse for greedy companies to avoid hiring people that work for them as full time in practice but not in name and benefit.

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notimpressed

admittedly I went off on a bit of a tangent, I did not(or mean to) slag real teachers, I merely pointed out it is for the vast majority NOT a good career move to persue in Jpn & that young people over here doing the english thing had best keep it short before they damage their chances of finding meaningful employment wherever that may be if they do it too long.

I dont work on contract, I am self employed so I can assure you I dont get cozy otherwise no money comes in, if I dont work I dont get paid simple as that

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Have to wonder how many of these "contract" workers chose to be contract workers, with the option to travel and do other things in-between contracts, to be able to change jobs frequently and to have a variety of work/ employers, as opposed to being committed to an employer/ stuck with one?

Or did they have no option other than to be a contracted worker?

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i know a lot of jp guys who worked under slavery conditions for years in one company ,hoping that one day they will become permanent workers but now have lost their jbs.so sad and i hope these labour laws are reviewed

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Sure there are people out there who choose to be contract workers for one reason or another. But vast numbers of positions out there are not full time. And many long term temps and contractors are unable to get onboard as full time.

The law allows a temp position to go on forever here. How is a 2-10 year position seen as temp? Other than by the company just trying to avoid any committment to the employee?

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Some temporary employment agencies in North America hire workers to be their employees and provide them with insurance, pension, etc. If the company where the worker was placed, doesn't need the worker anymore, the Temp. Agency is responsible for finding them another placement. This is how Japan's contract worker system needs to be. Granted, in todays market "another placement" would no doubt be a down grade or something in a completely different field, but it's a job.

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To continue offering their core staff a job-for-life guarantee and other benefits, Japanese companies find other ways to drive down their HR costs. They cut back on overtime, bonuses and new hires. They transfer their employees to other companies or within the group. And they replace core staff with flexible irregulars. Transfers to other firms, usually to suppliers or subsidiaries, can be either a temporary or a permanent arrangement. For many employees, moving from a secure job in the corporation to a badly paid job with a supplier does not so much prevent unemployment as delay it. Another typical instrument here is "voluntary early retirement". These schemes can affect employees even in their mid-30s. Early retirement is often a euphemism for dismissal.The settlements offered usually go nowhere near to replacing a proper pension.

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The situation we are seeing with Temp workers or contractual workers is a result of failed politics. This practice has been known by officials at all levels for years on end. Basically, your calls/questions are immediately answered verbally and then forgotten shortly after. How much talk was going on about Temp work and its precarious position in industry after the guy lost his mind in Akihabara last year? Not a word now and still no effort hitherto to extirpate the sickening standards it creates. It is a sad world when even the rich and falsely labelled Democratic societies cant snuff out poverty and corruption. Nothing will change unless there is widespread protest in seriously large numbers...But then theyll throw the military at you.

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pointofview: Sadly very true. The state is here to protect business and not workers. So any large movement will be met with force. But there are few alternatives for change in Japan. If things continue as they are, Japan will have a huge underclass of under employed, unemployed and freeter workers with no pension net for the future and a rising tax burden.

This will, without doubt, drain savings in most families and undermine the one good thing Japan has going economically, that being the savings wealth of the population.

Dark times are ahead if nothing very serious and well planned turns it around.

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GW "meaningful employment" any employeement is meaningful. How rude.

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GW. Respect to you for your reply and for being self employed, I have been self employed in the past, and am in Japan now, with a view at doing it again here. I don't want to be another foreigner trappped under the thumb of yearly contracts with no promise of stability. At least as your own boss you only have yourself to blame if it doesnt work out. Hopefuly the tight times in Japan can create some entrepeneurs out of people who have the imagination to make lemonade when life hands them lemons. Thats what it means to make a living, rather than trying to live at the whim of an employer who does not care in the long run.

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Yeah, those temp guys are so right. Better the whole company fail and put everyone out of work than let go of a few "temp" workers who only have a job in the first place because of their temp status.

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shiuu,

Why are there Temp jobs to begin with? And why do they last years on end? Also, do you think people should be working 2, 3, 4 jobs to get by?

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Look I've never been a temp here in japan. I'm fortunate to be a forex dealer. But I do symphasise with those temps so easily thrown out of work. And the smug poster above will not feel so smug if and when riots break out on the streets when all these so called "disposable" workers decide they've just about had enough.

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Perhaps a counter point to the discussion. I am teaching English, and no, I don't have a teaching degree. I came out of computer programming. I was making over $100K per anum, but working pretty much every waking second. Now, here I am working on a year to year contract for a lot less money (and I'm not young, alas). I could be let go at any time (and, frankly I expect too eventually), meaning that I'll be kicked out of the country.

But, I live in the inaka. I'm frugal. I get subsidized housing (which I'll be kicked out of if I lose my job). I have absolutely no trouble saving lots and lots of money. And I'm enjoying myself here enormously. In fact, I spend quite a lot of my time studying Japanese and my employer is quite happy to allow me to spend part of my working time doing that. I have to remind myself that I'm getting paid to do this...

I don't worry about foreigners like myself in this situation. All jobs have advantages and disadvantages. There are plenty of advantages to outweigh the disadvantages of lower pay and insecurity. If you don't think so, then this job isn't for you.

I worry about the Japanese people who will not be able to find another job. I'm sure very few of them chose to be a temp worker like I did. It wasn't a matter of tradeoffs, it was a matter of survival. I expect nothing from the Japanese government for myself. They should concentrate on the people who are from here, IMHO.

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umbrella,

Basic human rights. Disposable workers will decide for themselves if they want to take action. Eventually the people in charge will have to listen to these ongoing unsolved problems instead of humouring everyone with apathy and lies. Whether it is through striking, rioting, protesting etc. It certainly wouldn`t be the first time, Japan or anywhere else.

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"get fired by major companies"......"who cannot be easily fired."

Great reporting as ever by whoever to make their story 'juicier'. 'Laid off' is a more appropriate term for what has happened - when there is no longer employment available due to changing conditions. Fired has connotations of the employee being at fault.

It happens all the time all over the world in certain lines of work: meat workers, fruit pickers, vegetable and crop harvesters, shearers...temporary workers are just that, temporary. Sure auto industry workers are not likely to be subjected to wildly variations/fluctuations like a fruit picker but nonetheless its essentially the same principle. There are on apples to pick - the orchard owner lets you go, when there are no cars to make ditto. Don't like it? welcome to the harsh realities capitalism, should it be different? in an ideal world yes, but sadly we don't live in that ideal world. No system seems to works communism, capitalism are both equally defective.

It's too late for the temp workers now but to young people in school, the way to avoid this predicament of being being a lowly temp worker - study harder, get better grades go to a better school, go to college, sacrifice.

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college degree means full time employment? Derangement! I know a lot of people who even have PhD in Japan who are simply working as contract workers. Its a choice between surviving and dying, you want to live? go find a work. What is the available job? Contract good for a year

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Get over it people! If they let you go find a new job! If I lost my job yeah id be mad at least but id understand they are doing this to cut their losses. I mean they do not owe anybody a job for the rest of their lives. If you need that kind of love go move back with your mother and curl up on the fetel possition whilst sucking your thumb. All these protestors should band together and start some small business instead. Banks are handing out money more than ever now! Hello business loan!

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notimpressed,

hey if you have an idea, can use yr knowledge give it a go, the cool thing is you can start yr own job with ZERO yen & ZERO paperwork, applications blah blah, kojin jigyo, self employed and if you do well enough you can incorporate. You just have to file yr own taxes & there will be trips to city hall to set up health insurance etc, its a pita but you also get to write off a LOT of stuff, around 25% of yr rent if you dont own a home, eating & drinking can be written off as long as you keep it reasonable, give it a shot.

mikekchar,

Sounds like you got a good thing going! Good for you. Some on this thread think I have it in for teachers, untrue, reason I didnt go that route is I cant teach, wud be a lousy teacher, but I think the reality of it needs to put out there, especially for young people who may be considering it, there are plenty of pluses & many minuses, when I hit these rocks email wasnt really even started, the info thats easily available now is great compared to the old days ha ha. Even JT is a great resourse for life/work in Jpn, imo its best not to sugar coat it though. Keep enjoying the inaka, thats what I do as well!

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Recently, he finally got a full-time job as a taxi driver. “I have to keep working, no matter what the job is,” he said. “If you don’t have a job, you don’t have a life.”

I really respect him for that. That's what everyone should do. Quit whing and a make it happen to yourself. I hate people who start asking for socialism and government handouts.

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Not recontracted is not the same as "fired".

If they are making an average of 21 man a month and living in company housing that costs about 3-4 man a month, where are their savings? Even those making 800 yen and hour and living in dorms can save. I lived off of students loans for much less than that and paid for univeristy at the same time. Why do these people not understand how to save?

Why are they asking us to feel sorry for a 23 year old man who doesn't seem to be able to hold down a job for more than a few months at a time? They are using comments about him that date back to far before this economic issue happened.

Why did this 23 year old not go to university or up his skills? He probably lived at home so could have worked PT and studied PT like many others do "back home".

Why is someone in his 40's a temp worker? Why on earth did he have two kids if he is on temp contracts?

Why is someone who has been on the job with no background training calling people "amatures" when he himself was hired as one?

Why do people not understand that this is the nature of "temp" jobs? When things get rough, the bottom gets tossed first.

Why do these workers not understand that these companies CAN'T hire them back as they have no money.

I'm not trying to bash these folks but I don't understand how folks don't seem to understand how these situations happen. I've worked my ass off to be in the job I have. I have borrowed money, worked 50 hours a week and attended classes to get to where I am today. I lived well below the poverty line for two years while I was studying and never want to live there again. I continue to further my studies, my training and my knowledge because I don't expect anyone is ever going to look after me IF I were to get laid off. I save. I buy things on sale. I am frugal. Why have these people not been? I blame their parents and I blame society for holding their hands as much as they have. Japanese folks need to wake the heck up and realise that life/government/society doesn't owe them anything. I am tired of how I should feel sorry for these folks when for the most part many haven't done the right things to ensure that this doesn't happen to them.

I feel sorry for the old guys who've been homeless for years due to illness, deaths in families... I certainly don't feel sorry for the folks in their 20's-40's who are.

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I see a few of the usual "they should stop whining and get their acts together like me" posts here. Hey congratulations, you're a star! And now I'll state the blindingly obvious. The advantage you gain from having your act together comes from the fact that most people don't. If everybody was as special as you guys, then it wouldn't be so special would it. Every society has people at different levels of competence and ability, all of whom have to eat and make living somehow. Expecting all of them to "get their act together" is A) pointless and B) irrelevant. It's irrelevant because somebody is going to do these jobs and so someone is going to lose them, it doesn't much matter if it is Kenji or Taro. And they are going to lose them because the Japanese economy has been built around exporting stuff into the bubble, instead of building a strong domestic economy. That is not the fault of any temp workers, they are just the low hanging fruit.

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mikihouse at 07:04 AM JST - 10th February

college degree means full time employment? Derangement! I know a lot of people who even have PhD in Japan who are simply working as contract workers. Its a choice between surviving and dying, you want to live? go find a work. What is the available job? Contract good for a year

There are basically too many postdocs. Something about stupid government targets or something and not enough jobs afterwards. I did a postdoc for a year in a national laboratory. They initially wanted to pay me 250k per month - as I'd be on 400k in my previous job they bumped it up, but I had to justify it. Most junior researchers are probably averaging only 300k a month. That's piteously low. You'd have to be a fool to do a PhD in this country.

Very glad I left that career now.

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Richard III, I'm one of those fools. 400k per month as postdoc, then a little less as AP (the basic salary, there are bonuses). I don't see anything to complain about. You're good, you get a good deal. You're not, go home. Ever tried to look for a position in US if Japan sucks so bad?

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Richard III - you know people with PhD's who are working as temps?

What's their PhD in, TV/VCR Repair?

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ultradodgy, actually I know. that's the humanities guys. a PhD in history doesn't really put food on your table, only if you are extremely good or extremely lucky. (but you can also say that while I was working 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week during my PhD, the guy was going 2 hours per week to school for a seminar. for the same pay)

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No see, the thing is I don't think "special". That is exactly my point. I worked my butt off to get where I am. Why can't others? Japan has a huge issue with babying folks and well, they were able to do that in the past. They can't now and these people are the ones that are "suffering" from being babied and expecting that someone will always look after them. No one has bothered to address ay of the points. I can only assume that is because you realise that there aren't too many excuses for these folks.

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“I have to keep working, no matter what the job is,” he said. “If you don’t have a job, you don’t have a life.”

LOL at that. As long as the japanese don't get the fact that life means :family, children, wife, first and that money is just the fuel to keep the circus running, they are never going to understand the real sence of why you have to work.

Temp workers are at fault to have shut up so long, instead of protesting long time ago against the japanese idiotic work houres, buisiness ego and social destruction . . . . now they get disposed off.

More funny is the reasoning of peeps that lived in the company literaly, now having lost the job, they have also lost the dorm and their crappy life.

SHOGANAI . . . I would have noticed my crappy life situation and left he job, after one month spending 90% of my life at some assembling line, the dirty old dorm next to the assembly line and the rest of my mediocre life at the Pachinko. Every one who gets himself inside this "slave-like "situation is at fault. Same the entire japanese society anyway.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And as for “I have to keep working, no matter what the job is,” - I think that most of us have always had that attitude anyway. I'm not sure what thus guy thinks the rest of us do - take holidays, not work?

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Where are all the unions in japan? Why isn't any of these HAKEN jobbers covered by some sort of union security?

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tmarie- you can't have your cake and eat it too. It's a competitive world and some folks will come out on top and some won't. If you did what is necessary to come out on top, great for you. Some people won't, that is what the competition is about. And if everybody did, then you would lose your competitive advantage. It's like university, not so long ago a person with a BA was pretty special. Wow, an educated man!!! Then it became a Master's, then a PhD., and a massive education system full of people trying to get an advantage.

Now, if your talking about what an individual should be doing for himself, or saying that a lack of ambition and self-reliance hurt society as a whole you are probably right. But that is not the issue, the issue is that a country where the people at the bottom of the ladder are no longer able to make a living and survive is a country that is not functioning properly. There are lots of countries like that in the world, but Japan didn't use to be one of them. Telling people to stop being a temp worker is not much of a solution.

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Ok, so you realise that some will come out on top and others will not. Great. Now realise that this is a fact of life and that many countries survive this way. So what are you taking issue with?

Japan has had a long unemployment rate - very low and too low if you ask me. Times are changing. I'm telling people to get a life, get an education and stop expecting the government to look after them. Fail that, they can go home and back to mommy and daddy. There is no reason the government should have to support people who have family that will help out in times of need - more so when these folks are able bodied and young. Self defence force anyone?

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GW

I am run of the mill English teacher who has taught business English at over 100 Japanese companies, two universities a dozen high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools, community centers, and many English chains. I have taught young, old, rich, poor, weak, powerful, men and women. You name it and I have taught it. I agree with you it is a dead end job. I have never been so dis-respected in my whole life and treated like a sub-human. I have been ripped off every step of the way.

So why do I continue to do it.

I love teaching I set up an internet business along the way that will make me millions. English teaching is the easiest way to maintain a visa in this country. It is also a billion dollar industry.

In every field of business their are chumps and there are the leaders. It is just a matter what choice the individual makes.

There are opportunities in every industry to lead. It is just whether you are smart enough to see them, or even looking for them in the first place.

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I just wonder what the suicide rate's going to be for 2008/2009?? Something horrendous I'd imagine. Not that too many posters here would give a damn.

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I just wonder what the suicide rate's going to be for 2008/2009?? Something horrendous I'd imagine. Not that too many posters here would give a damn.

Would it make you happier if I told you I was staying awake nights worrying about some temp workers I've never met who finally realized they'd pissed away most of their chances in life and decided to just give up rather than picking themselves up and trying again?

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So what are you taking issue with?

Simple. You can't eliminate the bottom rung of the ladder just by telling people they shouldn't be on the bottom rung of the ladder. The ladder has a bottom rung and somebody has to be on it, unless of course you want to go communist. And if you don't want government supporting people, then that rung better be strong.

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Would it make you happier if I told you I was staying awake nights worrying about some temp workers I've never met who finally realized they'd pissed away most of their chances in life and decided to just give up rather than picking themselves up and trying again

OK good response, made me smile!

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space monkey

sounds like you enjoy the actual job, good on ya, now when yr internet idea takes off & yr raking it in be sure to let me know whats up so I can look into it as well! Just kidding, good luck, sounds like you will be doing ok in the future, keep yr eye on it!

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Now, people realize their working conditions are an important problem

Yeah. Now.

Not when their parents and teachers told them to pay attention in school and learn something useful.

Not after they finished (or dropped out of) school when they had time to learn skills for something better.

Not when they were temping and could see that they were spinning their wheels in a dead end job.

Not when they spent all their money on booze and gambling when they could have been saving.

Now they care.

And they think I should, too.

Funny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The reality of working in Japanese corporate office is not about how educated you are, or how hard you work your butt out. Those guys lost their jobs because they have no means to appeal themselves while in employment. All the guys who got to keep their jobs and paychecks are those who goes nomikai, golfing, gomasuri here & there...and for some J women, of course, by being 'kawaii' at work, sending loads of Valentine chocos' and when those dont work, by sleeping with their bosses....or somewhere to that effect.

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"So what are you taking issue with?" - tmarie

"Simple. You can't eliminate the bottom rung of the ladder just by telling people they shouldn't be on the bottom rung of the ladder. The ladder has a bottom rung and somebody has to be on it, unless of course you want to go communist. And if you don't want government supporting people, then that rung better be strong." - GWDailleult.

Beautiful. You have distilled the debate to its essence and I wish tmarie and others could get their heads around it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Why is someone who has been on the job with no background training calling people "amatures" when he himself was hired as one?"

Firstly, it's "amateur", not "amature". And you're a teacher! Eeek! I guess you should have worked your butt that bit harder in your English classes.

Anyway, the article never said he wasn't trained to work in the engine plant, it said that he was replaced by non-production permanent personnel. Your powers of analysis and comprehension need some work too, tmarie sensei.

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When companies are laying off by the thousands = don't be surprised if you are one of the apples to fall from the tree. It's all about costs = a higher salary may get you cut first.

Oh well, What can you do?

I am sort of amazed that people think all the ass-kissing will save them. Please don't be bitter when it doesn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mayuki, do you think the personal digs helps your case at all? Argue the issue being discussed as really, resorting to personal insults and whatnot just shows me that you really can't support your opinion all that well.

Every society has the haves and have nots. If these folks want to be the "haves" they should take this time to go back to school. There are government supported programs for these folks. Question is will they swallow their pride, move back in with the folks and take these opportunities?

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I am sort of amazed that people think all the ass-kissing will save them. Please don't be bitter when it doesn't.

Arse kissing works everywhere in Japanese companies. All my colleagues are doing it. One is sleeping with my boss and I have to bear with her selfishness, laziness and incompetency..

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I really dont understand why there are No Rules to protect Temporary Workers. My Wife is working for a international Company (Addeco) and even them dont accept international Rules! They give contracts only for 3 Month and then Renew it, this is in the EU. a criminal Violence)

Where ist the Union?

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"Every society has the haves and have nots. If these folks want to be the "haves" they should take this time to go back to school. There are government supported programs for these folks. Question is will they swallow their pride, move back in with the folks and take these opportunities?"

You have not addressed the issue. I don't think you even understand the issue. You are a capitalist and disagree strongly with socialist government policy, correct? Great, nothing wrong with that. You therefore understand that in a capitalist society, some people will be better off than others. You therefore understand, I assume, that there will always be people on the bottom rung of the capitalist ladder. It's the way things are, right? You said it yourself. Haves and have nots. I hope you can therefore make the connection that simply telling the "have nots" to become the "haves" by going back home to live with their parents (you so blithely assume they have that option, but never mind) will not solve the problem.

Can you make that connection?

The bottom rung of the ladder will still exist, and somebody else will be on it. The bottom rung jobs need to be done, otherwise they wouldn't exist. We need people to do the bottom rung jobs.

Now, and stay with me here, if we want to ensure a relatively stable society, with low crime rates, good public health, and a generally decent standard of living for people who do an honest day's work, albeit on a temporary contract, we need to ensure that the sizable number of people on the bottom rung are earning a living wage and are not exposed to exploitative labour practices that allow employers to profit without providing reasonable protection.

I am baffled that you cannot understand that telling people to undergo training and live with Mommy and Daddy will somehow lead to the elimination of these kinds of problems. Those who wander off to live in bucolic bliss will simply be replaced by somebody else. Japan's success in creating a peaceful and prosperous society was attributable in part to its high employment rate and fairly even distribution of wealth, meaning that the government didn't have to provide much in the way of social welfare. That is now changing, and it is a shame.

By the way, I think it is perfectly reasonable for me to draw attention to your lack of careful reading of any text. You harp on so much about your hard work and dedication to your education that you are inviting comment on it. Just be aware that your education in action is not terribly impressive.

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Mayuki, those have nots CAN become the "haves" or at least "better than what I have now" if they work for it. Thing is, most are expecting some great job to drop out of the sky - that and free meals and housing. They didn't bother to prepare for tomorrow and are now paying the price. There is NO reason why a 20-40 year old man can't walk into a place and find decent work. Maybe places like conbinis are higher. Thing is, they pay less than what many of these guys expect so...

I have no problems with giving people in real need help. I don't however think that most of these people are really those that need help. Laziness and pride are not folks who need help. Those who are unable to work and suffer from mental issues however do need help. How do you suggest all these folks get help? Why don't you suggest a plan in which taxes aren't raised and everyone gets a nice hot meal and rood over their head. I have a suggestion - folks who have parents alive and willing to help return to those homes. Folks in need - like the homeless from before all this happened - are the ones that we need to be concerned about, not these recent homeless who should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking they need help.

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There is NO reason why a 20-40 year old man can't walk into a place and find decent work.

I guess "global economic meltdown" doesn't make it as a good reason then. As they say, a high tide lifts all boats, and it is easy to claim you are up there because you are a better boat. But in the industrialized countries, nobody under the age of 45 knows what happens to their boat when the tide goes out. Unfortunately, they are probably going to find out soon.

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I see signs everyday for places looking for workers. Mind you they aren't great jobs but I was raised to believe that a crappy job is better than no job. Seems others weren't raised that way.

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