An Osaka prefectural government labor relations commission on Monday concluded that the Osaka government engaged in an unfair labor practice last year when it screened workers' emails for evidence of union and political activities.
The Osaka government, headed by Mayor Toru Hashimoto, came under fire in February 2012 when it began screening the emails of civil servants in an attempt to find evidence of union activities and political affiliation among them. It sparked a backlash from city employees and legal experts.
Hashimoto told a news conference Monday night that he will file an objection against the commission's ruling.
The Osaka government began storing in its servers emails sent and received by around 23,400 employees without their knowledge. The city's servers contain around 40 megabytes per employee, which constituted hundreds of email messages, TV Asahi reported.
Some legal experts claimed that storing city employees' email without their consent or knowledge is a step too far, some going so far as to describe it as unconstitutional.
The survey, which included questions about employees' off-duty activities, beliefs and creed, was attacked by bar associations and the city's labor union federation, TV Asahi reported.
The Osaka prefectural government labor relations commission began an investigation into whether the questionnaire constituted unfair labor practice, at which point it was announced that distribution of the survey would be suspended.© Japan Today