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Int'l labor union wants Tokyo Olympic venue inspection, worker interviews

22 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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22 Comments
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Die from overwork in Japan, who would have figured?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Good.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Oh boy! This is not gonna sit pretty with Japan Inc. The last thing they want is a bunch of pesky foreigners coming in and exposing their slave-like working conditions and treatment of foreign workers. There is no doubt the international union is going to find a lot of fault and mistreatment of workers in their inspection and interviews. Then what? Japan will not change its work policies just because a bunch of foreigners tell them to do so. They are likely to fire anybody who makes a negative statement, which will put even more pressure on the workers that remain, including the Japanese workers. I’m really looking forward to seeing the out come of this. Blowing the lid off Japan’s mistreatment of workers has to be a good thing, but what will become of it remains to be seen.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Managing to make a headline out of it is probably the most that will happen over this.

This is brought up at every major sporting / construction event all over the world. But its always after the fact, and after its too late. The vast majority did not have any better working conditions or future progress.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good luck with that. Japanese labor unions hardly have power. Foreign labor unions will have even less power.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese will never be dictated to by non-Japanese; be it whaling, workers' rights, child abduction....nothing will come of this either, save perhaps a tiny bit of bad publicity for a few days.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"They are overprotective and don't want the outside to come in,"

then they shouldn't have awarded them the olympics

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A bit late. Begging for attention is not becoming a leader of any sort.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Construction is dangerous and every worker you save makes a difference."

You're goshdarned right.

The exploitation and deaths of workers around the world is high enough as it is, this country doesn't need to add to it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yuson said 300 workers — Japanese and non-Japanese — die annually on construction work in Japan.

Ok? Have there been any actual reports of Olympic construction related working deaths? Japan has the most construction, and and quickest and most safety focused (and highest quality) construction operations on the planet. They're everywhere, all the time, and they come and go measured in hours. The amount of construction work that happens in Japan and especially Tokyo is astonishing. Given that construction can involve such things as climbing many stories high on metal supports, and working with heavy vehicles and construction equipment, it's inevitable there's going to be accidents. 300 per year (less than 1 per day) sounds like a pretty reasonable number when you've got 1,000,000's of workers working daily on 10,000's of projects around the city and country. How many of this is actual "karoshi", as opposed to accidents caused by humans working in a generally dangerous environment with heavy moving things?

The Union seems to provide, at least according to this article and the way it's written, zero evidence to support their claim that there are olympics construction working condition violations, and equally that karoshi is involved at all, and yet they're trying to use these claims to justify performing an audit?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The last thing they want is a bunch of pesky foreigners coming in and exposing their slave-like working conditions and treatment of foreign workers.

You're right. They'd turn Japan into a 3rd world country like the rest of them. The nail that stands out gets hammered back down, after all.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

It would have been better to do this in the heat of July and August, but still, better late than never.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has the most construction, and and quickest and most safety focused (and highest quality) construction operations on the planet.

Do you have any evidence to support your claim, especially the "most safety focused" part of it?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Keidanren, the federation of employers association has a stranglehold over labor policy in Japan, and will not countenance any challenge to its authority. It tells the government to jump, and the government asks "how high"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

has interviewed 50 workers in Tokyo to gain a picture of labor practices at Olympic venues. He said the union was not granted access to the workers, and many who spoke fear they may lose their jobs if their names are revealed.

300 workers — Japanese and non-Japanese — die annually on construction work in Japan.

Japan's labor ministry, in a report issued 10 months ago, said two workers have died on projects for the Tokyo Olympics.

He said the majority are Japanese with a mix of Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipinos.

Union won't grant them access? They are supposed to protect workers right? If they won't do that who else? Govt? 

Years ago in Fukushima they use foreign trainees to do the cleaning power plant. After govt found about this, those companies were being banned to accept foreign trainees for next five years but govt won't disclose those companies name. Not until some of those foreign workers try to sue then those companies name went public. 

Seing those workers for Olympic and Fukushima so far  worker union and govt just won't step up for this workers welfare and right.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/07/13/national/least-four-firms-used-foreign-trainees-clean-radioactive-contamination-fukushima-nuclear-plant-ministry/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yuson said 300 workers — Japanese and non-Japanese — die annually on construction work in Japan.

A national scandal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Have there been any actual reports of Olympic construction related working deaths

Yes, there has. One died in August from heatstroke for example.

They'd turn Japan into a 3rd world country like the rest of them

The term "third world country" hasn't been relative since the previous century FYI.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan should just send the foreign workers home. There is plenty of work for them in the booming China, Philippines and Vietnam. I am really sure worker safety in those countries are really good as well as the pay.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

300 per year (less than 1 per day) sounds like a pretty reasonable number when you've got 1,000,000's of workers working daily on 10,000's of projects around the city and country. How many of this is actual "karoshi", as opposed to accidents caused by humans working in a generally dangerous environment with heavy moving things?

Those number should be lower.

Contractors are under pressure to finish those construction before Olympic coming, there have been reports actual karoshi for that, usually when they being reported because their family try to sue them. So number can be more than being reported. 

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/oct/11/tokyo-olympics-2020-stadium-worker-death-190-hours-overtime-one-month

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/05/16/national/culture-fear-report-alleges-low-pay-overwork-laborers-tokyo-olympics-sites/

In additon to that, those site construction use foreign workers where usually will lead higher death. Theyget less rest, some of them even have to work during weekend and holiday. 

If you check the numbers for foreign trainees death, is 3.7 deaths per 100,000 foreign workers/trainee. While for Japanese workers only 1.7 deaths per 100,000 workers. 

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/01/15/national/social-issues/foreign-trainee-fatality-data-highlight-safety-exploitation-issues-japan/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If work kills you, change jobs. You have one life.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@tyler stone:...300 per year (less than 1 per day) sounds like a pretty reasonable number when you've got 1,000,000's of workers...

300 per year (less than one death each day) is a very unreasonable number. The goal should be zero deaths.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Construction industry is the second most deadly with farming the first. Spent years on sites has an electrician/electrical engineer. You must always put safety of yourself and others above everything else even if it means losing your job. You can always get another job but not another life.

Contractors are always behind time and under pressure to get it finished. Sometime working 7 days a week. Need at least 1 and 1/2 days off.

More foreigners doing the unskilled work, more likely to have accidents.

I question the safety clothing standard here. Flimsy footwear.

In Britain we are required to wear boots even with steel toecaps.

The deaths in this industry are always too high here and in other countries. Same story with the Football WC in Qatar.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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