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Club hostesses hold first protest over working conditions

33 Comments

A labor union formed by and for "kyabakura-jo" (club hostesses) held their first protest Friday night in Shinjuku's Kabukicho district. Around 150 members marched through the streets followed by a truck with giant speakers that pumped out music into the neighborhood, shouting things such as "Pay us right!"

Some women participated in the 80-minute protest wearing full cabaret dress. They waved banners that said "Stop harassment!" and "No more withholding wages."

Both men and women in the industry are demanding better working conditions, and the group was also working to make known a new consultation service for those who are having problems. Many hostesses have complained about not getting paid, violence, sexual harassment and fine systems.

Union representative Rin Sakurai explained they hoped the union's efforts will help improve the poor standards that have become normal in the industry. "They don't need to put up with bad treatment just because they are bar hostesses," Sakurai said.

Some are apathetic, however. One male club worker complained, "Those who get fined for being late, it's their own fault." Higher-ups in the union were seen walking and smoking during the protest and verbally abusing traffic cops in the area.

© News reports

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33 Comments
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Poor girls.They deserve more as owners fleece cutomers on behalf of these needy girls rather explot their situation.

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aahh poor......wait a minute who cares!

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Live and learn.

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Hosts and hostesses are the very life of the places they work at, and they should be treated as such. But I suspect that not only does the money they bring in get unfairly divided in favor of the bar owners, but also a fair bit goes to the yak. The economy is not helping either, unless you consider that its the economy that finally brought the protests. I hope the situation gets fixed. I hope the yak get driven out of every yen.

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Some are apathetic, however. One male club worker complained, “Those who get fined for being late, it’s their own fault.”

how does apathetic mean expecting people to take responsibility for their actions?

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aahh poor......wait a minute who cares!

no one except Gov Ishihara !

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Good luck to them - but why do they have to wear silly novelty sunglasses? LOL

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Bar hostesses are people one rank above fast food workers and one rank below prostitutes. They should be happy that they have a job because they are not qualified to perform normal work and if they don't like their work conditions, get out of the industry and go elsewhere.

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yeah... yeah... get a real job first...

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They are no more than Dom Pérignon sellers

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Bar hostesses are people one rank above fast food workers and one rank below prostitutes. They should be happy that they have a job because they are not qualified to perform normal work and if they don't like their work conditions, get out of the industry and go elsewhere.

Have you been in a situation where you have to feed your children and yet not qualified to perform normal work? You surely would resort to any sort of jobs....

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As for my comment, I do sympathize with those hosts & hostesses!

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lol

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"New" union for club hostesses hold their first strike (protest).

It would be interesting to know who is driving this union; the nationalists or the communists (they hate each other).

Been there, done that, do tell, please.

Many hostesses have complained about not getting paid, violence, sexual harassment and fine systems.

Been there, done that. Quit, you idiot.

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The economic downturn affects all businesses...

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I have little sympathy for sex-industry workers; no matter how you try to justify it, there is always a choice. Most of them didnt end up in this profession because it was either this or starvation; they've ended up here because this was a much easier choice as compared to hard and honest work. Also, these establishments are almost always connected to organized crime; why do they expect a decent treatment from their criminal bosses? Do they think that yakuza will obey employment laws?

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Whoa! This is a sex industry?

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One male club worker complained, “Those who get fined for being late, it’s their own fault.” Higher-ups in the union were seen walking and smoking during the protest and verbally abusing traffic cops in the area.

aka Yakuza

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No problem for them to protest, but one is supposed to protest against the "company" they work for instead of the government. Silly silly people, if you're working for a yak run establishment then you're the one at fault. I don't think even La costra nostra has a health benifits plan for their "workers".

Did these people sign any contracts? On PAPER? Is the establishment they work for not yak owned?

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The whole thing is illegal, brides and payoffs, pachinko, drugs and sex is all drug by yakuza.

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The oldest profession is prostitution which have evolved overtime into hostesses clubs and Japan is leading the way. The girls/women who work as a hostess do so because it is quick/easy money and looking for a sugar daddy.

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Good on them. People have a right to feel safe and secure at work, even if it's hostessing. And to get paid fairly for the work they've done.

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Let me get this straight the hostesses are protesting because they want more pay and better environment when they are selling sex and boosting men ego.

@ptolemy, there is an irony in all of this.

@Monkeyz, the tabs for the hostess clubs run into the thousands already.

The Japanese men need to find others ways of entertainment. They need to spend time with friends and family. It doesn't cost them a dime to spend time with friends and family versus hostess clubs.

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"The whole thing is illegal, brides and payoffs, pachinko, drugs and sex is all drug by yakuza."

Brides are illegal?

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3RENSHO: yes of course they are.

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HonestDictator said: No problem for them to protest, but one is supposed to protest against the "company" they work for instead of the government.

No, you protest against the relevant body. The article does not say who they protested against, but it may well be both. If the government lacks regulations that make hostess club operators treat their employers with fair consideration, then the relevant body to protest is the government. Besides, its not like any hostess club is a giant conglomerate that will suffer for bad press. Protesting against an individual hostess club is not going to accomplish anything at all. You seem to be thinking on the level of GM and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company rather than some random hostess club in Kabukicho.

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The Japanese men need to find others ways of entertainment. They need to spend time with friends and family. It doesn't cost them a dime to spend time with friends and family versus hostess clubs.

Maybe the problem is their friends, wives and kids are too boring - just not as fun as hanging out at the hostess clubs? I think most of their wives are probably happy with the arrangement anyway - he hands over the salary every month, and she is free of his smoking and alcohol abuse in the house! There has always, and always will be a huge market for brothels and hostess clubs in every town in Japan. They are a world leader!

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3RENSHO: "Brides are illegal?"

Nope, just real expensive.

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Aren't most hostesses paid under the table in cash? You can't expect your company to follow labor laws if you are not even paying taxes. Sorry, girls. I feel for you but since a lot of you are getting pretty descent money to chat and flirt, I'd say that you shouldn't complain. Save up your cash, get some marketable skills and get a better job.

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I think these must be the 150 most homely girls. Perhaps they should open their own club and see how it goes.

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Most of these comments are down on these women, but I was in Yokosuka naval hospital in 1969 and met some very nice women there. They don´t just see Japanese men, but men. The women acted with dignity, and were more adult and mature than we were!

One, named Mimi worked at the club Honky Tonk, and she taught me more about dignity, integrity, compassion and caring. I never saw her for sex, and many don´t do sex4$, but I found in my short stay there that she and others educated me about how to treaat others.

They are, above all human beings, and the one I knew sat with this man who was dealing with the trauma from the war. Jesus did not condemn prostitutes, but there is condemnation on these pages. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respecct. P

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I think this points to the whole issue of workers' rights in Japan. Look at any industry and you will see workers are overworked, underpaid and abused so the fat cats upstairs can make more money. Worker and consumer rights in Japan are weak for the second largest economy in the world.

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I know someone who is trying to sue her boss for withholding a huge chunk of her wages. The clubs make masses of money, but it doesn't always go to the girls.

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