The Interac Union – Zenkoku Ippan Tokyo General Union Tozen ALTs


December 29, 2009

Interac and pregnancy; Part Two – The Michael Collison Case::

Category: Interac,Stories,The Law – Author: エリック – 3:30 AM

I am not sure what it is about Interac and pregnancy, but they really don’t seem to be on the same page as the rest of the work force in Japan. The case in point is concerning Michael Collison and I first learned about his case on the website of a Japanese activist named Arudou Debito. Fortunately for Interac, I did not hear of the case until several months after the fact and it seems that Mr Collison has simply chosen to put the matter behind him rather than to pursue legal action. A very brief synopsis here is followed by a link to Arudou Debito’s original post.

Synopsis:
1) Mr Collison is an excellent teacher and has the reviews to prove it.
2) Mr Collison’s wife has a miscarriage.
3) Mr Collison has to take some time off of work to deal with funeral arrangements
4) Mr Collison is fired, Interac claims it is for “performance issues and missing work” (the performance claims are disproven by his excellent reviews).
5) Interac attempts to force Mr Collison to sign resignation papers, going so far as to tell him that he could not leave the office until he signed them (this is horribly illegal).

I really wish that Mr Collison had contacted us when this happened because I can garantee you that this kind of thing will NOT happen to any union member. A strong union can prevent this kind of thing from happening to its members, and can right these kinds of labor issues even after they have begun to go sour, all it takes is the initiative to contact us and the willingness to fight. This is not a criticism of Mr Collison, I certainly cannot imagine the pain he and his family have had to deal with, I just wish we would have had the oppurtunity to try and help. Workers in Japan are all garanteed to have time off for bereavement, and it seems that Interac is unaware of this fact.

A link to the original post:

http://www.debito.org/?p=2993

September 21, 2009

Interac and Pregnancy: Getting Fired for Being Pregnant

Category: Action,Interac,Stories,Victories – Author: エリック – 9:28 PM

Last year when I was in the Osaka based General Union, we received an email from an Interac ALT who was rather upset because she had been fired for being pregnant. Martina (name changed) was set to have her contract renewed with her school where she was loved by her students and teachers. Her contract had already been promised to her verbally and her schools and students were looking forward to her return. Then, people in the Yokohama office found out something that they viewed as a major inconvenience to their business, Martina was pregnant and would be giving birth during the middle of the school year.

They told her that in light of her condition, it would be too much trouble for them to find a replacement in the middle of the school term, and had decided to go with someone else who was less…. pregnant.

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January 6, 2008

Interac in the News – Punishment for Being Sick

Category: Insurance,News,News Archives,Stories,The Hands that Feed Us – Author: エリック – 1:50 PM

An article from January, 2008 about the fact that Interac ALTs do not get all of what they are entitled to by law.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20080105f1.html

THIS FOREIGN LAND
Assistant language teachers in trying times

By KANAKO TAKAHARA
Staff writer
Last of four parts

In November, Samantha Bouton, an assistant language teacher working at a public elementary school in the rural town of Shibayama, Chiba Prefecture, had a fever of 38.5 degrees and was diagnosed as suffering bronchitis.

Because of her illness, Bouton, a 25-year-old U.S. native from Oregon who has been teaching in Japan’s public schools since 2004, had to take leave for two weeks.

But her employer, Interac, a temp staff dispatch agency and leading provider of ALTs in Japan, told her she had already used up her seven days of annual paid leave — less than the 12 days she is entitled to under labor law — to cover the days she was sick.
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