Factory Fire and Wage Increases

by Kitadake Noboru (Automobile Workers Exchange Conference)

Factory fire

A fire at the Okaya 1st Factory of the Aishin Precision Machinery Co., an affiliated firm of Toyota Motors Co., on Feb. 2 was the biggest event of the 1997 spring offensive in the automobile industry. The factory produces only proportional valves(PV) for brakes and Toyota has used Aishin's PV with more than 90% of their product lines. The fire at the factory stopped the production and delivery of the PV, so Toyota's factories, which are famous for their "Just In Time System(JIT)" were forced to stop production. Some factories of Mitubishi Motors Co., Suzuki Motors Co. and Isuzu Motors Co. which use Aishin's PV also stopped their production.
These facts made clear to everyone that the Japanese auto industry greatly depends on outsourcing (whereas the United Automobile Workers Union went on strike over outsourcing). It also made clear that Japanese society has become primarily a@ productivity-oriented enterprise society@@ as if the whole society were one conveyer belt.
Toyota ordered more than 20 companies, including nonaffiliated companies, to produce the PV. The affiliated companies worked hard for 24 hours per day. As a result, the stop of production lasted only for 4 days. The reopened factories of Toyota and Mitubishi forced their workers to work overtime every day and work@ even on holidays to recover the delay in@ production.
The Chairman of Toyota said "It's not wrong that we produce the necessary volume of parts. We learned from the fire accident and will prepare to prevent fires." He means to promote more out sourcing and increased productivity. Although Toyota is said to have reconsidered its productivity-oriented JIT system after the end of Bubble Economy, as the economy recovered, it seems to have forgotten that idea. The thoughts and activities of managers are similar among any countries.


Wage Increases

The Japan Auto Workers Union(JAWU,@ 780,000 members) demanded a 13,000 yen wage increase which was 1,000 yen more than last year. Their@ reasons were that car production has increased more in the last year than in the past 6 years (see figure 1) and both the increase of sales and the profits are more than the previous year (see figure 2). Furthermore, profits from the increasing currency exchange rate are expected. JAWU demanded 5 months wage as a standard bonus and the unions, which could not achieve a reduction to 1,952 working hours in a year, demanded that their working hours be shortened to the standard. (JAWU demanded a 20 minute decrease per day last year, but it was rejected.)
The Japan Federation of Employers' Associations proposed that profitable Japanese enterprises should increase the bonus instead of increasing wages in order to strengthen their competitive power in the international market. On the other hand, JAWU regarded the wage increase more seriously than a bonus increase, so it intended to get a 10,000 yen wage at Toyota.
Negotiations between employers and employees was difficult. The union side could not break the hard stance taken by managements that "We must restrain the increase of wages to ensure international competitive power" (quoted from Nissan's negotiation). The problem was the abstract attitude of unions from a psychological standpoint where they "want to be rewarded for their cooperation with contraction of the enterprises after the collapse of Bubble Economy" (from Nissan's negotiation), and they feel they "must strengthen workers' will and power to make their best effort in order to create the future of their enterprises" (from the Toyota's negotiation).
The results are shown in Table 1. The average wage increase was the previous year's achievement plus 700 yen. The bonus demand of the union was fulfilled. Toyota's union said "We think that the employers expect their employees to make their best effort in the future". It showed that mutual understanding between employers and employees has proceeded, and so has the drive to export@ Japanese cars to the USA while the UAW was striking, instead of showing solidarity with them.
The union members will never believe their unions' activities. A study of Nissan Union in last year shows that 60.9 % of members complain about their union's activities.

Production stopped at the Toyota Motomachi Factory


APWSL Japan Alternative Tour to U.S.A.

Touching Base with the U.S. Labor Movement

This April, APWSL Japan visited the United States for the first time as its fourth alternative tour.@ The original plan for the tour was for a small number of people to participate in the Labor Notes Conference.@ In the end, taking into account the increasing interest here in the changes in the American labor movement, the tour was replanned as an alternative exchange program, to which APWSL-Japan invites workers to join and visit with unionists in the USA.@ Ten people participated in the tour, and for most of us it was our first time to visit the States.


The participants were impressed by the new trends in the American labor movement such as the effort to organize migrant and women workers, and solidarity actions with Mexican and Canadian workers.@ Our group was able to attend the picket line in front of the Hotel New Otani in Los Angeles and to participate in a support rally for the striking Detroit News workers.@ We had a great experience joining in these energetic and lively actions.
Our relations with the North American workers started by supporting the Bridgestone Firestone workers and has developed through supporting workers at the Hotel New Otani.@ This tour to the United States was another step towards strengthening the relations between workers across the Pacific.@ The following two reports are by participants of the tour.
Yamasaki Seiichi, APWSL-Japan Secretary General.

With the New Otani Workers Support Committee


Our Contact with the U.S. Labor Movement

Soon after we arrived in Detroit, we participated in the Labor Notes Convention and a rally.@ Afterwards, we enjoyed ourselves by visiting an art museum and a jazz club and by going to an Indian restaurant in Windsor, the city just across in Canada, with local labor activists.@ On top of our jet lag, we felt so exhausted because for three days we discussed late into the night about ourselves and our union activities as we got to know each other.
At the Labor Notes Convention, it was difficult for us to understand the English, but gradually we learned about the problems U.S. workers face, which was quite an eye-opener.@ We heard about the adoption of the Japanese management system, relocation of factories to reduce labor costs, a worsening of working conditions, and resistance to corporate restructuring plans.@ In addition, we were impressed that there were so many female and international labor activists in the USA.@ The only thing we regret about the tour is that we could not talk more with workers from the United Auto WorkersΤ
Union (UAW) and NUMMI.@ Although we could contact some people from the UAW and Local 909, we wish we could have discussed more issues, such as the adoption of the Japanese management system, the outsourcing of automobile parts, and lay-off problems.
In Los Angeles, we met with employees of the New Otani Hotel and Garden, a janitors union, university staff and graduate students who are trying to form their own labor unions for teaching assistants.@ We participated in a demonstration in front of the Hotel New Otani, our third during our stay in the USA.@ We were excited by the lively chants.@ Many of the people active in trying to form a union there are minorities and women, and their struggle for better working conditions@ is part of their declaration of their rights as United States citizens.@ I was struck by the remark made by an employee of the Hotel New Otani, Librado Vidaurri, that unions should not only focus on economic struggle but also on maintaining each employeeΤs dignity and pride in their workplace.@


When we reached the maquiladora area in Tijuana, Mexico, the scenery changed dramatically.@ There is dry grass on the hills where some factories and employee housing are located.@ I heard that there are approximately 1,000 factories of companies from abroad.@ Our guide, Mary Tong, of the Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers, explained to us that the working conditions of those factories are horrible and that those companies can do whatever@ they want under the protection of the Mexican government.@ We were able to meet Mexican labor activists who are fighting against the low wages, poor working conditions, industrial accidents, infringements of human rights, pollution, and lay-offs there, even though whenever a labor union is about to be formed, management threatens to shut-down the factory.
Next we visited a nearby community called Maclovio Rojas.@ It was originally a rural community, but as the maquiladora factories moved in, corporations and gangsters started buying up the land.@ As a result, the residents of the area, primarily farmers and factory workers, formed a community organization to resist them.@ They constructed meeting halls, a kindergarten, schools and labor union offices by themselves, although they are very simple.@ In addition, for senior citizens who cannot work in the factories, the union has tried to help them set up their own businesses, resulting in most of the residents becoming independent.@ They also told us that management was scared by the existence of the union and raised employeesΤ
salaries.@ As with other communities, they have proven that it is more effective to organize a union based in the community rather than within a company.@ Support and cooperation from abroad has also strengthened labor union activities in this area.@ In this sense, it was very meaningful for us to travel to the USA and we deeply hope to continue building up international support and solidarity with each other.

by Uehara Hiroshi
(Autoworkers Exchage Conference)
Translated by Tanaka Yuri

A protest rally in support of the striking Detroit Newspaper Union by the participants of the Labor Notes convention(Apr. 20,1997)


The Situation of Japanese Women Workers Today

How We Can Survive and Fight Back Against Sexual Harassment

When I went to the Labor Notes Conference in Detroit, I felt a big difference between the situations of union members in the US and Japan, because many women union members joined and took initiative in that conference. In Japan, recently, union membership(especially among women) is decreasing. Regardless of what type of job, most women workers are unorganized.
In the late 1980s, the term "Sexual Harassment " was introduced in Japan. We could finally have an adequate word to express how we have to face discrimination, difficulties, or troubles in the workplace, how we are bothered during our daily work. But in fact it is very difficult to prove what sexual harassment is because even among women, whether a feeling is unwelcome depends on each woman. But sexual harassment is used as a tool by management to exclude women from the workplace without using any action of dismissal. In fact, it is implicitly a kind of forced dismissal against women.
Since 10 years ago, women have gradually raised their own voices and fought against sexual harassment. Some independent women's labor unions and women's support groups have been set up in Japan. These unions and groups offer telephone hotlines and if a survivor wants to fight back, they advise on several ways how she can fight back and support her action. Recently existing unions, including those affiliated with Rengo, have started to deal with some cases of sexual harassment. But still now most women who have experienced sexual harassment have left their work place involuntarily. The following is an example of a sexual harassment case.
Sexual Harassment at the Rengo Shiga(the Shiga local of the Japan Trade Union Confederation)
Ms.A(we usually use anonymity if a survivor requests it) had worked as clerical staffperson in the office of the Rengo Shiga. In 1990, Rengo campaigned to get the summer holiday. A poster with a caption saying "Please come back and we wish you will be a new person") was distributed in the office. One of the executive members, Mr. N, said to her "Put the poster in the front of the Rengo Shiga office, we wish to recruit a new woman and get rid of the old woman. " At a social gathering of the office workers, Mr. N said to A, " Will you still work in the office? We are unhappy!". The next year, after a social event of the office staff, Mr. N hit and kicked her on the street. She suffered an injury that took a week to heal up, and also she experienced a severe emotional shock. Then Ms. A protested against Mr. N and she also complained to Mr. T(the chairperson of the Shiga Rengo) about the series of rude behaviors of Mr. N. However, the chairperson claimed that these incidents are the result of a personal trouble of Ms. A in connection with the relationship between a woman and a man, so the chairperson ignored N's harassment against her. Soon after, Mr. Y, who was a director general of the union, also joined in the harassment against her. For example, Mr. Y made a complaint against her that she didn't keep his desk neat and clean while she attended a local union brunch of a union formerly affiliated with Domei(Japan Conference of Labor). Also, Y forced her to make and serve a tea and to buy him cigarettes. And Y said to her that those things were her duty, so she had to obey him or otherwise leave her job. And when Mr. Y and Mr. N created the job assignment table, they omitted the name of Ms.A. So Ms. A demanded the chairperson to improve the bad working conditions in the office, but the chair person ignored her voice. As a result, Ms. A left the Shiga Rengo.
However Ms. A didn't accept such a series of harassments by the Shiga Rengo, so she went to the head office of Rengo in Tokyo and demanded that they improve the working conditions in the office of the Shiga Rengo. The head office tried to take action against the Shiga Rengo, however they obstinately ignored her demand.
This kind of attitude and behavior of the Shiga Rengo is a typical environment of sexual harassment. Even quid pro quo sexual harassment is still not recognized in our society. When Ms. A filed a suit at the Shiga court, Shiga Rengo published that the incidents had been caused by the emotional and personal problems of Ms. A" in the union magazine "Rengo Shiga". And the Shiga Rengo appealed that they had no obligation to her to the Shiga district court. So Ms.A also brought a libel suit to the Shiga district court. The district court decided that the Mr. N. had assaulted Ms. A(Mr. N was ordered to pay \300,000 for the compensation), and that publishing comments about her personality in the union magazine were considered as libel(the Shiga Rengo was ordered to pay \200,000 for the compensation). But the district court ignored the environment of sexual harassment against Ms. A. Concerning the series of daily harassments at the Shiga Rengo, the judge commented that the incredibly incoherent statements of those executives might apply as discrimination against women, but in this case they said those things about every woman, and were not directly pointed at Ms. A . The judge decided that there was no forced dismissal of Ms. A and that she had suffered not so serious emotional damage, so she did not need legal protection. The judge did not put the blame for the irresponsibility of the employer on the Shiga Rengo. Both parties appealed to the Osaka High Court, where the appeal trial started on July 1.@


This case is not an exceptional case in Japan. In most companies, there is an environment of harassment in most labor unions in Japan. We continue to fight against all sexual harassment, to support the survivors who have experienced sexual harassment, and to empower and be in solidarity with each other.

By Kitahata Chiyoko

1. With the people at Macrovio Rojas, Tijuana
2. The children wearing hachimaki are cheerful in front of the picket line at the New Otani Hotel in Los Angeles


What Effect Will Deregulation of the Labor Market

Have on Japanese Workers?

A Comment on the Revision of Japanese Labor Laws

A bill to revise the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and the Labor Standards Act, including the deletion of clauses which made special protections for female workers, went into effect on June 11 when it was passed by the Upper House of the Diet.@ In the final version of the bill, two supplementary clauses were attached to the original 12 clauses which were approved earlier by the Lower House of the Diet.@ In addition, a voluntary appeal was made by some female members of both Houses.
Since both the supplementary clauses and the appeal call for better enforcement of the Sex Discrimination Prohibition Law, it is somewhat of an improvement over the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, but the present revisions do not go far enough.@ In response to the problem of indirect discrimination against women workers stemming from their concentration in low-wage, part-time, temporary, dispatch, or non-management track jobs, and in family-run businesses where a male is the householder, the Diet Resolution merely stated that it would "examine the meaning of discriminatory treatment on an on-going basis."@ Another clause states that the Diet must examine ways to correct wage discrimination immediately, which is one of the aims of the Labor Standards Act, by analyzing the factors that cause the gap between men`s and women`s wages.@ It may be too late to discuss this issue now, but there is nothing else we can do other than to see that these provisions are carried out.
Six of the 14 clauses concern the consideration of appropriate measures for overtime, late-night and holiday work for women and a substantial revision of the Part-Time Labor Act@ and its guidelines as a result of the deletion of clauses in the Labor Standards Act designed to protect female workers.@ Although these measures reflect the discussion of the revisions by the Committees on Labor Affairs of both Houses, we can say that they suggest that the deletion of clauses to protect female workers is part of the proposed deregulation of the entire labor market and will affect not only women workers, but the lives and health of all workers.An article about the revisions of the labor law ran in the Asahi Newspaper on June 11 with the subheading "Equality of Overwork is the Problem".@ To abolish the protective regulations without improving the harsh working conditions in Japan under which karoshi, or death from overwork, continues to plague workers, will only drive women into a labor force which engages in overwork, making it difficult for women to take care of household responsibilities and threatening their health.@ As a result, the revision will make it increasingly difficult to continue working as a full-time worker.@ This is the kind of "flexible employment system" that Nikkeiren, the Japan Employers` Federation, is aiming for.
Japan Railways has already adopted a system of 11-hour workdays for one month periods as a variation of its work schedule.@ Moreover, it is considering the introduction of late-night work after 10 pm, not for its regular employees, but for the workers in its newsstands on the grounds that its customers need them to be open until midnight.@ Having flower shops and newsstands open past 10 or 11 pmΡis this what is meant by a "developed country" which responds to the needs of its citizens?
A woman who worked in a finance-related business said that she worked overtime everyday and did not get paid for it.@ Her employer said that the company only assigned her an amount of work which could be done during normal working hours, so if she could not finish her work it must be due to her own lack of ability.@ Thus we can get a glimpse of the meaning of "discretionary work".
At the end of July, the government will publish an interim report which addresses proposed revisions of the labor laws dealing with working hours, labor contracts, and the labor market, all of which are vital issues for workersΤ
rights.@ If the term "labor market deregulation" means "freedom" for companies to obtain workers at a very low cost only for the times they need them, then human history will be taking a step backwards.@ It is necessary for us to fight against deregulation which is becoming a common trend around the world through the solidarity of workers and labor unions.

by Yunoki Yasuko
(Zensekiyu Shell Oil Union)
Translated by Araya Yukie
(Transnational Labor Studies)


"National Network in Solidarity with Migrant Workers" Launched

The formal start of the "National Network in Solidarity with Migrant Workers" was announced at the 2nd Annual National Forum on the Problems of Migrant Workers, which was held in Aichi Prefecture, near Nagoya, on April 28-29. The initiative is a response to a broad appeal made at the 1st Annual National Forum held in Fukuoka last year. Three appeals were made then:@

1) Many group representatives wanted to strengthen the national network with a more continuous structure after accomplishing the opening of First Annual National Forum.
2) There was a desire to put in a more organized form the functioning network which had been coordinated on a voluntary basis by the Ajiajin Ijuu Roudousha Konshinkai (Ajikon, or the Association for Asian Migrant Workers).
3) It was decided to deepen the cooperation and progress made by various groups on labor issues and the problems of Japanese-Filipino children (stateless children).

Considering the above accomplishments, since last year, Ajikon and various Tokyo area labor organizations have been meeting with each other and maintaining contact with groups in the Kansai and Kyushu on a regular basis, carefully working out a plan for the "National Network". Based on the recommendations gathered in this process, there was much discussion at this year's Annual National Forum, including a session entitled "Towards an Organizational Network for Supporting Foreign Workers" and a special program where representatives from each interested group discussed the details of the proposal late into the night. A definite plan hammered out in these meetings was proposed at the General Meeting on the second day of the National Forum. After several revisions were made, an "Agreement (Rules and Regulations)" and a temporary "Aims of Action" were adopted. There will be a steering committee with 6 co-representatives and 22 individual or group candidates on it. Group representatives are requested to be selected by the organizational rules of the participating groups. A permanent staff member was nominated at the first steering committee meeting and Yui Shigeru, chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Second National Forum on the Problems of Migrant Workers, was formally appointed.
As a result of the long process of discussion, it was concluded that when the "National Network" makes statements and engages in actions, it will be with the consensual agreement of the affiliated individuals and groups. The "National Network" will principally coordinate joint actions. It was thought that this form was necessary due to the diversity of citizens' groups participating, among whom there is a wide variety of activities, membership and organizational structures. It will probably take some time before the steering committee becomes fully functioning and the concrete activities are organized.
In particular, many changes will have to be made as the Ajikon (Association for Asian Migrant Workers) office is combined into the new structure. Members of Ajikon's steering committee will join the steering committee for the National Network. Ajikon's bimonthly newsletter, "Ijuu Rodosha Tsushin" (Migrant Worker News) will be transformed into an organizational newsletter for the National Network, with a new editor, editorial plan and subscription policy.

The following is an outline of the organizational structure and plans of the National Network:

1. The name of the network is "Ijuu Roudousha to Rentai Suru Zenkoku Nettowaaku" or "National Network in Solidarity with Migrant Workers".
2. Purpose:

  • a. To protect the rights of migrant workers and foreign residents, to support activities which promote their independence, and to help make Japan into a multicultural/multiethnic society.
    b. In order to accomplish the above, this Network aims to link on a national scale groups and individuals active in every region of Japan and in all fields concerned with migrant workers.
    c. The Network aims to facilitate the exchange of information and strengthen the system of mutual cooperation while coordinating joint actions among the members.

    3. The office will be located at the following address: c/o Nippon Christian Conference (NCC), 2-3-18-24 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to.
    4. Activities: The following are some short-term goals of the Network:
    a. To collect and to supply information to the migrant workers' support groups nationwide.

    b. To publish a newsletter.
    c. To hold national meetings of representatives from member groups.
    d. To select the site for a national forum to be held every other year and to help make the necessary arrangements for it.
    e. To be a contact point for information about regional forums.
    f. To be a contact point as necessary to help coordinate activities on nationwide or large-scale issues.
    g. To make policy proposals.
    h. To coordinate lobbying of the government, administrators and Diet members.
    i. To function as an information center or contact point for overseas networks.j. To provide support for movement building in local areas.
    k. To plan campaigns to influence public opinion.
    l. Other activities as necessary.

    5. A Tentative Plan of Action for the National Network in Solidarity with Migrant Workers
    The period from 1997 to 1999 will be one of starting up and we plan to strengthen the National Network by pursuing the following plan of action.

    1. Establishing the Secretariat
    With the cooperation of groups and individuals in the Kanto Area, we plan to strengthen the functioning of the secretariat by coordinating negotiations with the government and by collecting and disseminating information through the publication of a newsletter.
    2. Coordinating Action on Major Issues
    We plan to deepen our discussion of the following issues and once there is an agreement of opinion about what actions to take, we will carry out:

  • a. Negotiating with the Labor Ministry for the guarantee of the labor rights of migrant workers regardless of visa status, in particular the rights to organize a union and to bargain collectively.
    b. Opposing the worsening of the immigration laws and to negotiate for the guarantee of visa status (in particular, amnesty for long-term overstayers) with the Justice Ministry as part of a campaign for migrant workers' rights.
    c. To negotiating with the Health and Welfare Ministry for the establishment of rights for all foreign workers to join the national health insurance plan.
    d. To negotiating with the relevant ministries and agencies for the protection of the rights of foreign women with regard to employment, marriage, divorce, violence and child-rearing.
    e. Making demands of the relevant organs of government to solve the problems of prostitution.
    f. Negotiating with the relevant organs of government to protect the rights of children with at least one foreign national parent.
    g. Supporting the organization of migrant workers with the aim of promoting their independence.
    h. Supporting campaigns against police and other kinds of repression as well as for court cases.

    by Watanabe Hideo, Chairperson of Kalabaw no Kai (The Association in Kotobuki for Solidarity with Foreign Migrant Workers); updated by Ogasawara Kimiko, staff member of Ajikon.
    Translated and edited by John McLaughlin, APWSL-Japan
    @The 2nd Annual National Forum on the Problems of Migrant Workers was held in Aichi Pref. in April.

  • APWSL-Japan Steering Committee Report

    April-June 1997


    reported by John McLaughlin
    APWSL-Japan Steering Committee

    From this issue, we have decided to include a report of APWSL-JapanΤs activities in English to give readers a better understanding of what the organization does.@ Japanese members receive monthly updates of the groupΤs activities, but so far nothing has been published in English.@ The report will feature highlights of activities mentioned in these updates or important issues on the agenda of the monthly steering committee meetings.

    APWSL-Japan Steering Committee meetings were held on May 8, June 5 and July 4 at the Kanagawa City Union office in Kawasaki.@ There was no meeting in April due to the APWSL-Japan sponsored visit to the USA in the latter part of the month.


    1.@ At the May meeting, we reviewed the visit in early April by the delegation of workers from the New Otani Hotel & Garden in Los Angeles and organizers for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 11.@ They held many leafleting events in front of the New Otani Hotel in Akasaka as well as in front of the offices of major shareholders around Tokyo (and Osaka, of course).@ The leafleting on April 2 was sponsored by APWSL-Japan, which is the first labor action independently sponsored by the organization in its history (a technicality really since most of the same supporting groups participated Ρ usually such events are under the banner of a joint effort or coalition Ρ but it may point to new directions for the organization).@ Probably the greatest result of the visit was the attention President Sweeney of the AFL-CIO gave to the issue at a joint press conference with Rengo after his talks with the New Otani management just before he left Japan on April 9.

    2.@ A report was made of the 10-day trip to the USA, where ten members from around Japan visited with labor activists and at union offices in Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.@ In Detroit, the group attended the Labor Notes Biennial Convention and visited with local labor activists.@ Labor Notes has established a niche for itself as a vanguard critic of the AFL-CIO and mainstream labor movement in the U.S.A.@ Many of the sessions focused on organizing minority and migrant workers, women workers and social policy, and union democracy.@ In Pittsburgh the group visited the United Electric, Radio and Machine Workers, the largest union in the USA not affiliated with the AFL-CIO and traditionally a rather radical one.@ In LA, the group was hosted by HERE Local 11 and was invited to speak to an Asian American labor group and the East Asia Studies Center at UCLA.@ They also visited a maquiladora area near Tijuana and a community union there.

    3.@ Jane Kelsey, a professor of law at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and a radical critic of NZΤs privatization and deregulation policies as well as structural adjustment programs in developing countries, will be touring Japan in early September.@ She is scheduled to speak at 2 events at Tokyo WomenΤs Plaza (behind the United Nations University) on Sunday, September 7.@ The first preparatory meeting was held on May 15.@ A book on the reforms in NZ written by the participants of the APWSL-coordinated visit in January should be out in time for her visit.

    4.@ The Gender Equality Promotion Sub-committee had to postpone its April meeting.@ Some members attended one of the preparation lectures for a new Women's Support Line (telephone hot line), where Mami Nakano, a radical lawyer, spoke about how to counsel women who call with employment problems.@ The committee will meet soon to continue its study of sexual harassment guidelines.

    5.@ The English version of the last edition of the APWSL-Japan newsletter was printed in time for the USA trip.@ This was probably the first time ever that the Japanese version was prepared from the English version afterwards, and apparently there were numerous mistakes in translation.@ We decided to include a column for corrections at the back of each issue, so feel free to contribute!@ Also a few people questioned why the English and Japanese versions should be identical translations of each other due to the difficulty of finding good translators in the labor movement (going in either direction) and major differences in grammar and how things are said.@ One reason given for the exact translations was that some Japanese members read both editions as a way to study English.

    6.@ Jeremy Brecher gave a lecture on May 31 at Hosei U. from 1-6 pm.@ It was co-sponsored by the Center for Transnational Labor Studies and APWSL-Japan.@ Mr. Brecher is a well-known independent critic and researcher of the U.S. labor movement and he spoke about the impact of globalization on the U.S. labor movement and the changes in the AFL-CIO since the new leadership took over two years ago.

    7.@ Much of the time during the June steering committee meeting was spent planning and discussing the goals of the Annual General Meeting to be held on July 19-20.@ It is the main chance for members from around the country to meet and review their activities and discuss priorities for new ones.@ Also, we discussed who would participate in the APWSL East Asia Exchange program to be held in Hong Kong in September.@ Finally, a report was made of the lectures given by members, in particular to the postal workers union, on deregulation in New Zealand.@ Plans are underway for Jane KelseyΤs visit in early September.

    8.@ At the steering committee meeting on July 5, there was first a report of the previous monthΤs activities.@ The APWSL Regional Coordinating Team meeting was held in Malaysia from June 11-15, with representatives from each of the 4 main regions in APWSL.@ Kitahata-san from Osaka attended.@ The group which visited the USA in April is planning a big presentation of their visit in October.@ The second year of a course for training translators of English into Japanese in the Japanese labor movement began on June 12 under the auspices of the Center for Transnational Labor Studies.@ The Zenrokyo Postal Workers Union plan to visit New Zealand next February and have asked APWSL-Japan to help arrange the visit.@ Most of the rest of the meeting was spent going over the schedule for the 8th Annual General Meeting to be held in Tokyo on July 19-20, the APWSL-Japan budget and the plan for the year.