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High school student wins dispute with convenience store over unpaid wages

20 Comments

An 18-year-old high school student working part-time at a Saitama Prefecture convenience store has won a dispute with his employer to receive unpaid wages, the union supporting the student announced at a press conference.

According to officials from the Black Baito Union (“baito” or “arubaito” means part-time work), the student had been negotiating with Sunkus, the convenience store he was employed by since January 2015, to be properly paid full wages based on per-the-minute labor, which the store had previously refused, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The convenience store had declined to pay the amount stating its unique policy to not count labor that had been performed within or under 15 minutes. The student was therefore not paid for work he was performing before his regular working hours, which included cleaning the store’s toilet and other duties, he was otherwise requested to conduct. The total unpaid amount was approximately 26,000 yen.

Japan’s Labor Standards Inspection Office had previously instructed companies to calculate wages per minute of labor, a law revision the student and the union referred to during the negotiations.

As a result of the negotiations, the store also promised to provide unpaid wages to all of its 70 employees for the past two years.

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20 Comments
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Good. All was about 26,000 yen. Goes to show bloodsucking greedy this convenience store is.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Great!

No work for free.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

I have to feel sorry for some of the combini workers, theirs is sometimes a thankless job. Just this morning, at 5:30, I heard what I thought was a fight, but it turned out some ojisan on his way to an office job somewhere, was yelling at the combini worker guy. I heard this from a block away, and they were inside the store. I went in and the worker was bowed low while the ojisan was chewing on him. Even though I was right behind him, the guy wouldn't quit. So I had to say something (which I can't repeat here). The guy still didn't stop. Then he turned to me, told me it was none of my business, and acted like he wanted to start in on me. I said some more things which I can't repeat here, and told him to get out of the store, and he stormed off. All for some minor issue with his receipt.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Wow! Per minute salary? However, this kind of non-paid work, cleaning toilets, offices, etc. is very popular in most companies in Japan although, this is usually applied to full time employees (and usually women). It's a labor scam that is cultural and has been going for years!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Finally something is being done. This is going to affect a lot of companies who have been using labour for free. It is common that most people who work at these part time and low paid minimum jobs are required to work up to half an hour before the official starting time and the same when finishing work. For example, people working call centres have to set up their computers etc. before their official start time and close down also at the end of their work day for no pay.

Recently, a person I know, worked a full month and received pay 70 percent the next month and the remainder of 30 percent another month later. They were also required to open a bank account to receive their wages specified by the employer. A couple of hours wasted time opening the account and a bank account no longer wanted.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good for the young man!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hope the kid takes a lesson from this that he takes through life and shares with others - speak truth to power.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good work!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hey great news! nice to see someone standing up for what they are due.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Smart and persistent kid. I have a feeling is off to bigger and better things.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I know what store I'll never visit!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What a scam! "We need you to be here by 5:50 and get started on the toilets. At 6:00 you can clock-in." When I worked at McDonalds almost 40 years ago, the OFF-going shift cleaned the store (including the toilets) so the oncoming shift could get up to speed quickly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good for him. One in the eye for exploitation

2 ( +3 / -1 )

However, this kind of non-paid work, cleaning toilets, offices, etc. is very popular in most companies in Japan although, this is usually applied to full time employees (and usually women). It's a labor scam that is cultural and has been going for years!

If they are full time employees, (salaried that is) then it is not non-paid work. One has to be careful when reading the contracts or work agreements when being hired, there are generally clauses in them here that have something in them that reads like, "plus any other work deemed necessary by superiors". That is how they get around it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is so incredibly difficult to go up against corporations and employers in general in Japan (I know from experience) and workers are often expected to do everything the employer asks - this is a great step forward and I hope it continues; too much exploitation!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sensei258 I have to feel sorry for some of the combini workers, theirs is sometimes a thankless job.

I thank them every time, and I hear a lot of people thanking them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WOW!!

For once it seems labour laws were actually APPLIED.............I hope this trend catches on like WILD FIRE!

Doesn't say when the claim was first filed but also this may have been done in a timely manner.....again WOW!!!

Lets hope this new trend continues, quick, fair application of labour laws, WOW!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It takes one person to stand up for their rights rather than say, "Sho ga nai" to get a result like this. It will take millions of people standing up and saying, "We work for you, you don't own us" to get real change here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good on this kid. Small remuneration, huge victory! The store should have to pay another 100,000 on top of it, at least, for grief and greed!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Now it's time to change Japanese employers' attitude toward employees. Japanese employers abused their employers' power was not just in Japan and also the Japanese employers practice in overseas as well. They don't want to pay full Government recommended wages and sometime pretending to be forgot and do not pay weekly wage to employees. Most of victims were their fellow Japanese students and backpackers. My wife was one of the victims of Japanese employers. I might suggest anyone who intends to go working holiday in US or Australia, avoid working for Japanese employers especially Japanese restaurant. They are 日本人 の 恥 デス.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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